Today’s feast of All Saints is meaningful because we not only acknowledge the saints whose names we know that appear in the Catholic calendar, but also those unnamed saints in heaven that have lived a faithful and blessed life on earth and attained their eternal reward.
The 1st reading gives us an idea of how many there are in heaven: “a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language”.
And the 1st reading continues by saying that “these are the people who have been through the great persecution, and they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb”.
And these people, these saints, have a purpose in heaven. And that is they are praying for us to join them in heaven eventually and to praise and worship the Lord.
Over here in this world, we may not be facing great persecution, but we may be facing a great isolation. We tend to think only for ourselves and care for ourselves.
We may have forgotten of the love that the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children and that is what we are.
And as God’s children, there can be no isolation from each other.
Rather, as God’s children we must be a companion to each other, so that what we are with each other on earth, so it will be in heaven.
There is a story of a poor boy named Howard Kelly, who was selling goods from door to door to pay for his education. One day he felt so hungry and decided to ask for something to eat at the next house he was set to visit.
However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?” “You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.” He said, “Then I thank you from my heart.”
That little act of kindness made a mark on his heart and made him feel stronger and better. He was ready to give up in his life before that happened but because someone had showed him kindness in a very unexpected event, he regained his trust in God and man. Then he grew up and became a successful doctor.
Years later, that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.
Immediately, he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to the room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case. After a long struggle, the battle was won.
Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally, she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words: “Paid in full with one glass of milk”. Signed Dr. Howard Kelly. Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: “Thank You, God, that Your love has spread abroad through human hearts and hands.”
The truth of life is that generosity begets generosity, and one act of kindness brings on another act of kindness.
Generosity and kindness not only inspire others to do likewise, they are also the stepping stones out of our isolation to become companions with each other.
We need to be companions with each other on this earthly journey by being generous and kind to each other.
As much as we make a living from what we get, we make a life from what we give.
Let us be generous and kind companions with each other as we head towards our final destination in heaven and there we join the heavenly company of saints to thank God.