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Feast of All Saints: Benedict XVI's homily
With great joy, we celebrate the feast of All Saints. Visiting a nursery garden, one remains taken aback at the variety of plants and flowers, and spontaneously begins to think of the Creator's fantasy that made the earth a marvellous garden.
These same sentiments come to us when we consider the spectacle of hol-iness: the world appears to us as a "garden," where the Spirit of God has sustained with remarkable wonder a multitude of saints, male and female, from every age and social condition, of every tongue, people and culture. Each is different from the others, with the uniqueness of personality and spiritual charism.
All, however, were marked by the "seal" of Jesus, the imprint of his love, witnessed upon the Cross. All now are at joy, in a feast without end as, like Jesus, they reached this goal across toil and trial, each one encountering a share of sacrifice to participate in the glory of the resurrection.
This spiritual measure, to which all the baptised are called, is accom-plished in following the way of the evangelical beatitudes. It is the same path traced by Jesus and which the saints pushed themselves to follow, always aware of their human limits. In their earthly existence, in fact, they were poor in spirit, pained by their sins, starved of and thirsting for justice, merciful, pure of heart, peacemakers, persecuted for righteousness' sake.
On this day let us revive in ourselves an attraction toward Heaven that calls us to carry on in our earthly pilgrimage. Let us lift in our hearts the desire to always unite ourselves to the family of the saints, of which we already have the grace to be a part. In the words of a celebrated song, "When the saints go marching in, oh how I'd want, Lord, to be in their number!"
May this beautiful aspiration burn in all Christians and help them to surpass every difficulty, every fear, every tribulation. Let us place, dear friends, our hand in the maternal one of Mary, Queen of All Saints, and let ourselves be led by her toward our heavenly homeland, in the company of the blessed spirits "of every nation, people and language." And let us unite ourselves in prayer already recalling our dear departed ones whom we commemorate on this feast day.
This is the edited text of Pope Benedict XVI's homily for All Saints Day 2009.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 23 No 10 (November 2010), p. 2
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