Wow, what a divine and awe-inspiring vision today’s readings give us. As we start to come to the last chapter of this year, we find the readings today giving us a chance to reflect on where God has been this past year? How we will spend this last month? and what the next year will look like?
Maybe your year was a year of a burning fiery furnace and hardship, like that of our friends in the psalms of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And that wonderful grand testimony of the fourth person with them inside the furnace. We ponder where Christ has been with us in our times of suffering and persecution this year and maybe how we can take the time to stand in awe and wonder and praise of God, as the three do.
Ultimately, as we look to the year ahead and start getting anxious over all that is to come, we can turn to the first reading. Daniel’s vision, which is beyond what my imagination can comprehend but is ultimately saying: God will reign. We can take great comfort in our king who is beyond comprehension in his mercy and might. Whatever was and will be made servant to his love and power. Christ’s presence in our life, no matter how much of a fire we might feel we are in, God’s word prevails!
How can you live this last month, knowing that Christ is sovereign and is with you through all?
What a beautiful gift we celebrate in our church today, the solemnity of All Saints. The men and women who have been Christ’s hands and feet throughout the ages.
In today’s chosen readings the words from the psalm strike me: the people who long to see your face.
There’s a quote I came across when I was a teenager and it read something like “You were not created for this world, so stop trying to live like it”. We live in such a cruel and heartbreaking world sometimes. One where it is often more tempting to have hearts of stone rather than that of flesh. We don’t want to keep hurting and being wounded so we put up walls, be cruel instead of gentle, greedy instead of hungry, proud instead of humble, harsh instead of merciful.
But we are reminded on feasts like these why we should have hope to keep our hearts open: that our true citizenship is in heaven and that is why our hearts are broken like so. We were not made for this world. And even Jesus says this before his death to Pilate (John 18:36).
We are given hope to remain foolishly kind, gentle, and merciful in a cruel world because we know our reward is great in heaven.
Let us be reminded that all of us, including you are called to be a saint, called to be the hands and feet of Christ to the neighbors around you. And that when you are persecuted, know that you follow the footsteps of the King who calls you home.
Claire O’Donohue is a current Oxley Passionist Youth Retreat Team member. While also in her final year of university, she is completing her bachelor’s degree with a major in visual art and theology.