In the first reading for All Saints’ Day (Revelation), John has a vision of the saints in heaven. And after describing some of the saints, John sees this great multitude of saints - he starts describing them as being from everywhere, and then gives up trying to count them. There’s just too many of them.
Most churches are named after one saint, or maybe two. When a church is named “All Saints,” you wonder if there was this big fight over who to name the church after, and then somebody had to say “if you can’t agree on a name, we’ll just call it ‘All Saints,’ then nobody gets left out.”
After a while, it can almost seem like All Saints is a Church parody of a self-esteem program – “You’re all winners! Everybody’s a saint!”
That’s not really what All Saints’ Day is about.
All Saints’ Day is there because the saints that places get named for aren’t the only saints. All Saints’ Day is there for the many more saints we’ll never know about. And that’s okay, because being a saint isn’t about people noticing that you’re a saint. Being a saint is what happens when you say yes to God and live in fidelity to God's grace.
More on this tomorrow.
All Saints’ Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/110114.cfm