All Saints! — Surprises in Heaven!
. . . a great multitude, which no one could count. (Revelation 7:9)
Imagine you’ve been invited to a dinner party. You’re a close friend of the host, so you think you know who will be there. But when you arrive, you’re surprised that along with the people you were expecting, you see many whom you’ve never seen before.
This is probably how we’ll feel when we get to heaven. We may expect to see our grandmother or childhood pastor. But seeing a convicted criminal we recognize from the news or the kid who bullied us in middle school may catch us off guard.
That’s why today’s feast is so valuable. Today we celebrate, not the saints whose names we know, the saints who appear on our Catholic calendars, but all those unrecognized, hidden saints who have blessed the Church in every age. We celebrate each person in the “great multitude” described in our first reading (Revelation 7:9).
This multitude of saints includes parents who persevered in raising their children in the faith. It includes gas-station attendants and lawyers, dockworkers and movie stars who struggled with their sins and weakness but relied on God’s grace to help them through their ups and downs. They are prison inmates and refugees who believed in God’s love and trusted in his care for them. They are people who believed from childhood, as well as those who converted in their old age. They all knew it wasn’t their efforts, but God’s power made perfect in their weakness, that could make them holy.
Heaven is vast! It’s made up, not only of the great saints, but of everyone who lived for the Lord. Let this truth fill you with hope for yourself and for your family—even the ones you worry about the most. No one is excluded. No one is ever too far gone. The Lord is a God of miracles, and that means that anyone can become a saint!
“Thank you, Lord, for your grace and mercy. Help us all to be holy as you are holy!”
Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)