All Saints Day Nov 1 2018 Fr. Michael Cawthon
In the Gospel reading we hear the Beatitudes (the blessings describing the true joys of discipleship.)
Blessed are the poor in spirit, Blessed are those who mourn, and Blessed are the meek,
Yes, blessed are those who have a total trust in God.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
Yes, blessed are lives lived seeking and fulfilling of God’s will.
Blessed are the merciful, Blessed are the pure in heart, and Blessed are the peacemakers
Yes, blessed are the merciful are God’s love in action;
those the pure in heart devoted to God,
and the peacemakers who share God’s peace with others…
those who take God out into the world.
Those who do so reflect the “love of God.”
These words begin to build a picture of what we should strive to be and they describe the Kingdom of God.
As individuals, and as a Church, we need to reflect upon these words.
Within our Anglican Culture and Custom we are instructed to: Anglican Missal the following: (page 249)
- At the oblation (the Offering) we are to “offer ourselves, along with the people’s gift at the altar …to give, too offer ourselves, to Christ.
- At the Consecration we are to “allow ourselves to be consecrated to God’s service as we become dedicated to Him.
- At the Utilazation – at the Fracture – we allow ourselves “to be in union with Christ’s broken Body and His poured-out Blood, we are to “fracture the new man away from the old” – so that His “Will” will become our will…Finally at the Unification – the Communion, we become “in communion” with He and neighbor.
And just how do we reflect the Truth of Christ within our lives and within the life of St. Michael the Archangel?
In the Collect we read “Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living”
for it is through God’s Grace that we learn how to obtain the blessings of the Beatitudes.
and in the Epistle we read of “a great multitude, which no man could number,
of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues, stood before the throne” …
seeing that we are to belong to a great multitude,
together and unified under the banner of Jesus Christ.
In the Old Testament the church was a gathering of God’s people…
In the New Testament the word used is ekklesia: a gathered community of God’s people…
And on All Saints day: we proclaim Saints – as a body of believers.
So Scripture, and Tradition, tells us to gather together as a unified people of God, as Saints.
This has always, from the beginning, been the intention of Christ for His people.
Our Lord warned us in The Revelation of St. John The Divine:
we are not to be half in and half out,
straddling the middle –
nor are we are not to be “Lukewarm” in our duties to Christ…
For Jesus speaks of such as He warns us:
“I will spue thee out of my mouth”…
We all are servants of God…our first love has to be Christ.
To you, belongs St. Michael’s church response to Christ.
To each and every one of you HE calls.
On this All Souls Day let us unite as one people in Christ,
and let us recommit our lives to serving our Great High Priest –
let us say with one voice – here I am Lord, use me.
The hour cometh, and now is…