Reading 1 RV 7:2-4, 9-14, Responsorial Psalm PS 24:1BC-2, 3-4AB, 5-6, Reading 2 1 JN 3:1-3, Gospel MT 5:1-12A

The First November we celebrate the solemnity of All Saints. It is worth asking what it means to be a saint. Actually, God is the only Saint. To be a saint is to be pure of heart. God is the one who can purify us so that we can participate in His sanctity. The story of the prophet Isaiah is a good illustration of that. When God called Isaiah, he was humbled because he knew he was not worthy to be in God’s presence, but God purified him and gave him a mission (Isaiah 6, 5). As we hear in today’s first reading, the saints are those who have washed their robes and whitened them in the Blood of the Lamb.

We can participate in God’s sanctity by testifying for His mercy. As Jesus teaches us, we should be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. The perfection of God consists in His mercy. Saint Dismas, one of the two thieves who were crucified with Jesus, experienced the mercy of God at the very last moment of his life. Even though he was a thief, because he opened up his heart to God’s mercy, he was able to participate in God’s sanctity.

If you open your heart to God’s mercy, what matters is not the bad decisions you made or the sins you have. What matters is the love that God has for you and the fact that He needs you. Jesus once He saves you, asks: “Can you help me?” If you want to be in heaven with Him, your answer should be Yes. There are many ways in which you can help Him. You can help Him by your prayers, your sacrifices, your good deeds and so on.

Another good way of understanding the way to holiness is to look at the blessed mother of God, the Virgin Mary. She was pious, and she spent most of her time in the temple. However, at one point, she was told that she had to get married as any girl of her age. This may had shocked her, but she obeyed. One day, while she was praying, an angel came to tell her that God had chosen her to be the mother of Christ. She was surprised for she did not expect that God had such a noble mission for her. She did not become only the mother of Christ, but also the mother of all of us, the mother of the whole humanity. She is now in heaven and we know that she is interceding for us. It is important to realize that Mary discovered her way to sanctity little by little. The same is true for us.

In those few lines, I hope to have shared with you what I heard from the homily from 6:30 AM Mass of Sunday November 1, 2020 at Mont Sion Gikungu. The Mass was celebrated by Father Claude.

Christa Ishimwe