Tuesday, 3 November 2009
All Saints & All Souls
My "60 Second Sermon" for BBC Radio Sussex 0750, All Saints Day 2009
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
And so say all of us Christians baptised into the faith of the Apostles!
We who are Christians, no matter which denomination we belong t, are, by virtue of our baptism members together of the Communion of Saints - that is the Church Militant, i.e. the here and now on earth and the Church Triumphant - those who are now in heaven and the Church Expectant - those who have left this life and are on their way to heaven. These two days of All Saints and All Souls are a celebration and a reminder to us of the Communion of Saints.
Today, All Saints, reminds us of the glorious company of Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins, Pastors, holy men and women whom The Church feels sure, by virtue of their deeds on earth have attained that perfection necessary to be in God's eternal presence. We remember and celebrate their lives, consider how it was that they - though ordinary people like we - were able to convert their lives by love in God through their deeds and prayers into the sanctity desired for those who would follow Christ. Christians today should be inspired by, as the author of Hebrews describes, that "great cloud of witnesses" who forever encompass us about our daily existence in prayer and acts of charity; urging us too to attain that great reward, that pearl of great price, eternal life with Christ.
On Monday, All Souls, in the Catholic tradition we pray for the faithful departed, fully aware as the Revelation to St John says, that the deeds of their life cannot be altered, but remembering also the merit afforded the great commander Judas in Machabees who offered prayers in atonemnet for the sins of those fallen in battle. Likewise, we who are left to sojourn on this mortal plane, remember and pray for those who have died that by our prayers and through our charity, they may be quickened into glory and the welcome of the Saints on high.
All Saints and All Souls remind us that with and as the Communion of Saints, we as Christians are never alone; we are always surrounded by love and prayer; by the warmest thoughts and best wishes of those who gone before and the knowledge that we too, when we have left this mortal coil, will also be remembered in love and with prayers by those we leave behind... until that time when we may all meet again when Our Lord comes to reign, at the end of the ages for all eternity. Amen!