This coming week we will be celebrating All Saints Day at the Vigil Mass Monday, October 31st at 7:00 pm and at 9:00 am on the Holy Day itself, November 1st. All Saints Day is a feast which commemorates the officially recognized saints of the Church, but also honors the millions of saints that are not named by the Church. A saint is someone who lives their life as God intended them to live it. Some of these lives are recognized publicly, but the vast majority of saints live out their holy lives known only to those who knew them well.
I like to think that the saints recognized by the Church are similar to those inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Granted, there are many great ball players that are not in the Hall of Fame, but those who are inducted are players who have performed at the highest level consistently and notably. Like Hall of Fame ball players, we look up to them and want to model ourselves after them. They are the example that is held up for those aspiring to be great, and that we can model our lives after.
Even though All Saints Day is the Holy Day, most people, on an emotional level, are drawn more to the feast day immediately following All Saints Day, All Souls Day. Of course, All Souls Day honors our deceased loved ones, which is something that most people are more intimately connected. While the Church honors the official saints, on All Souls Day we honor our own personal saints who have gone before us.
This week let us take a moment to honor our official saints and try as we might to emulate them, while at the same time remember our deceased loved ones and thank God for their presence and love in our own lives.