We Are The Living Saints
Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hine
November 3, 2019
Readngs: Ephesians 2: 1-11
Ephesians 1: 15-23
Luke 6: 20-26
Today’s message is for all saints. We are “all saints.” It’s strange that we refer to saints as those who are already dead and are in heaven when in actuality, we who are still alive on earth are called the saints of God. Too often, man in general, fear death. We see death as a failure or punishment because we have such a bad image of death. Every year, we go to the cemetery and pay homage to the dead, not realizing that they are no longer there because those who are in Christ are eternally with the Lord. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11;26)
We picture saints as those who have been long gone; St. Peter, St. Francis and all the other saints we know of. There are also those who put a certain criteria on “sainthood,” on how one is worthy to become a “saint” when he or she dies. This is man’s doing. There has to be the heart involved in order to understand these things. The heart goes beyond rigidity. It goes beyond ceremony. Yes In death, our loved ones’ physical bodies may be there during their wakes, but in reality, their spirits are with God. Death is the doorway to the full promise of eternity’ the fullness of life, or quality of life.
We need to understand the true meaning of “sainthood.” A saint from the Greek meaning is, “loyal servant.” Saints are God’s holy people, or people of God. This is an affirmation of God’s holiness. It shows us His compassion, His heart. Sainthood requires obedience on our parts. We were chosen by God from the beginning of time, Ephesians 1:4 says, God chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless. There is a need to renew our minds. Too long have we been listening to the world’s ways. Romans 12:2 says, Do not be conformed to the world’s ways, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
The root word of “saint” in Hebrew also means to “set aside,” “set apart for God,” which is different from the world’s standards. Therefore we are to follow the principles of God and not of man. We are to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Royal priesthood or saints).
If we are one with Christ, aren’t we then, to be holy? The principles of God should be our guiding light. When we find ourselves facing difficulty, He has already equipped us to face these tasks because God’s plan for us were from the very beginning of time. He has equipped us to live out His life. The principles embedded in our hearts should be lived out.
1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood. A holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
When we look at “sainthood” on earth we should see this as a preparation for us to eventually enter into the gateway to heaven thru physical death.
Colossians 3:12 -Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
1 Peter 1:16 – You shall be holy, for I am holy.
Matthew 27:52 – And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who has fallen asleep were raised.
Ephesians 2:19 – Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household.
Ephesians 6: 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all of the Lord’s people.
Ephesians 5: 27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but it should be holy and without blemish.
Each time we partake of the Eucharist, we are to be reminded that this is His inheritance for us. Colossians 1:22 – But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in Hs sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
Jesus died for ALL. He died for Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Confucianists, Our challenge now as Christians is to renew our minds and prove the will of God that we are saints. And to show the world the One who died for all in our behalf. We’ve got to know who we are. And the only way to know who we are is to know who Christ is.
(Editor’s Note: Dedicated to Sis. Cora Abangan, who has recently passed away and gone on to be with the Lord. She faithfully transcribed these homilies for many years.)