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By Jude-Mary Owoh
Thu, 01 Nov 2018


‘I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands.’ – Apocalypse 7:9

It is the first day of the month and as always it is a day for new month messages. One particular message which so many people have forwarded to me already is striking in its falsehood. It reads: ‘As this month is coming to an end, your problems are also coming to an end. You will never lack anything, tomorrow will be the best day of your life…’ Although this message means well, it is misleading. Today we celebrate the feast of all the saints in heaven. A saint is a holy person, a blessed person. In its strict sense, it refers to every friend of Christ who is now in heaven and whom the Catholic testifies is enjoying the beatific vision of God, seeing God as he really is (1Jn 3:2). In a loose sense, it refers to everyone who has died in friendship with God, whether they are professed Christians or not. So long as they lived the kind of life they ought to live (a life of love), they are with God, and are saved through the merits of the death and resurrection of Christ.

The saints are in heaven because, as the book of the Apocalypse recounts, ‘They are the people who have been through the great persecution, and they have washed their robes (their souls) white again in the blood of the Lamb’ (Rev 7:14). They did not enter heaven by either pretending suffering does not exist or praying against it. A Christian most triumph over life’s many challenges and obstacles which are sure to come in your spiritual journey, family life, relationships, vocation and occupations. Pray for the strength to overcome challenges and not that they should never come because they will come. Suffering is the purifying flames that refines us so what we can shine like pearly stars in the skies. The souls in heaven form a great cloud of witnesses praying for us as we make our way back home. They offer us the examples of their lives to inspire us to be better followers of Christ. Today, you can read about your favourite saint and ask God to help you imitate his or her example and so draw closer to God. May Mary, Queen of all saints pray for us now and at the our of our death. Amen.

Apocalypse 7:2-4,9-14; Psalm 24:1-6; Matthew 5:1-12


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