All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. It should not be confused with All Souls' Day, which is observed on November 2, and is dedicated to those who have died and not yet reached heaven.
Millions, or even billions of people may already be saints, All Saints' Day observances focuses on those unknown saints as well as those recognized in the canon of the saints by the Church.
When you look at something like the Catechism and see its many pages, or look at the 2,000 pages of the big Jerusalem Bible, you can be forgiven for thinking that Christianity is a complicated affair. But Jesus reminds us today that it is essentially very simple: everything can be summed up in two basic rules: love God, love your neighbour. Exodus backs this up, by talking about the simple love that we must show to each other. Not that this is easy - love is always costly, and involves some degree of sacrifice. We will have to change, to become perfect in love; but it is possible, and when we do, like the people of Thessalonica, we become a great example to people everywhere.
The November edition of the Magazine is available below to download.
Everyone on this earth belongs to God. All are made in his image. Therefore it is right that all men and women, ‘from the rising to the setting of the sun’, should know the God to whom they belong. The only desire of our God is that all should know and love him, and find in him the fulfilment that they seek. Even a pagan king like Cyrus is used to further this knowledge of God - just as Jesus uses Caesar’s head to make the point again: all belong to God, and the mission of all who acknowledge that belonging is to help others to find it. This is exactly what we see Paul, Silvanus and Timothy doing, as they write to the people of Thessalonica, to whom they carried the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The Church’s year is drawing to a close: in a few weeks we will be thinking very clearly about the end of time - but here we have a preview. The parable of the banquet is a link between the Gospels of recent weeks (which have as their theme: ‘Just who is going to be saved?’) and the looking forward to the end times which will follow. The big danger is complacency: we are baptised, we go to Church, we’ve got our invites to the wedding. But when the big day comes, will we be ready for it? Or will our thoughts be on the other things of life? Jesus speaks of himself as the Bridegroom, and today points out to the chosen people that they are in danger of missing the celebration. Our faith is that the Bridegroom will come again; let us be careful that the same parable is not addressed to us.
ALL SAINTS CHURCH
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