In the Name of the Father, the
Son and the Holy Ghost.
The Mother of God and the Saints
whose memory we keep today, those who are known to us because
God has revealed them, and because they have been understood and
recognised, either by their contemporaries, or years, at times Ч
centuries later, all the Saints are the response of the earth to
the love of God. And this response is given by them not only in
their own name but in the name of all creation and in our names
also, because each of us has the privilege to be called by one
name, our Christian name, the name of one of those Saints. And
the Saints whose names are ours stand before God and pray that
their name should not be made unworthy in the eyes of the Lord.
The Saints of God embrace the
whole of Creation in their love, in their intercession, in their
prayer, in their real, continuous presence. How wonderful it is
that we belong to this vast family of men, of women, of children
who have understood what the Lord meant when He came, and lived,
taught and died for us! They responded with their own heart,
they understood with all their mind, and they accepted His
message with all their determination, to overcome in themselves
all that have been the cause of the crucifixion; because if only
one person on earth had strayed, fallen away from God, Christ
would have come to save at the cost of His life. This is His own
testimony to a Saint of the early centuries who had been praying
that the sinners should be confounded; and Christ appeared to
him, and said, Never pray that way! If one sinner have existed,
I would have died for him.
The Saints are people who
responded to love by love, people who realised that if someone
can die for them, their only response of gratitude is to become
such that he should not have died in vain. To take up our cross
means exactly this: to turn away from all those things which are
Christ's death and crucifixion, from all those things which
surrounded Christ with hatred and lack of understanding. We are
all free to do this, more than those who lived in His time
because they could be mistaken in Him in those days. But in our
days, after two thousand years, when we can read the Gospels,
and see emerging from the story the stature, the Person of
Christ, when we have got millions of witnesses that tell us that
He truly gave His life for us, and that the only response we can
give is to give our lives for one another in His name Ч how
can't we respond?
Let us therefore, on this day
make a new resolve: to listen in the way in which they listened,
with all their heart, all their mind, all their will, all their
self to see what happened, to hear what He said, to respond by
gratitude and by determination. And then, if we offer this
little to God Ч our gratitude and our good will Ч the strength,
the power for us also to grow into the stature which God has
willed, dreamt for us, Ч the power will be of God; as He had
said, My strength deploys itself in weakness, My grace sufficeth...
And Paul, who knew that, added, in another passage, All things
are possible unto us in the power of Christ Who sustains us...
There is no doubt: we can, if we only will allow God to save, to
carry us from earth to heaven.
Let us make a new start, so that
the Saints whose names we wear should rejoice in us, so that the
Mother of God Who gave Her Son unto death that we may respond,
that we may understand, that we may be saved should rejoice, and
that Christ should see that it is not in vain that He lived,
taught, and died. Let us be His glory, a light; it may be a
small light, just like a small candle, it may be a bright light
as one of the great Saints Ч but let us be a light that lights
the world and makes it less dark! Let us be joy so that others
may learn to rejoice in the Lord. Amen!