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Bishop's Homily for the Solemnity of All Saints

I am often struck with awe at how many saints are right before my eyes.

By Bishop Larry Silva
November 01, 2020

[Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Honolulu]

I recall a man rummaging through a garbage can with a homeless person, not because this man needed what was in the garbage can himself, but simply as a way of showing his care for the homeless man.  Blessed are the poor in spirit!

A woman suffered a very deep pain in her heart when her husband died.  She would not have suffered so great a grief if she had not taken the risk to love her husband for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death did them part.  Blessed are those who mourn!

A young man attended the March for Life in Washington, DC, and he was harassed by several others, making national news with video that was unfairly edited to appear that the young man himself was the aggressor.  But he simply stood and smiled at those harassing him.  Blessed are the meek!

A woman simply cannot stand seeing others live on the streets, so rather than just lament their fate, she visits them, finds out what they need, and connects them to whatever services can help them.  Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness!

A man is very hurt when his brother cheats him out of his inheritance and is very angry with his brother.  Yet when his brother falls sick, he is there at his side to care for him.  Blessed are the merciful!

A husband and wife are constantly quarreling and bickering, putting each other down incessantly.  Most of their friends know this, but stay clear, thinking it is none of their business.  But one woman has the courage to sit down and speak to them, lovingly but clearly, and offers them both a sympathetic ear.  Blessed are the peacemakers!

A young couple is very much in love, and even though their peers find it strange that they will not sleep together until they are married, and they are teased mercilessly for being so “behind the times,” they persist in their resolve to live chastely.  Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness!

A group goes to pray the rosary outside an abortion clinic, praying for any woman who might enter there that their prayers will touch her heart to choose life for her child, and they are harassed mercilessly by protesters.  Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of Jesus!

These are real events that indicate there are indeed saints in our midst.  I am often struck with awe at how many saints are right before my eyes, inspiring me with their deep faith and love of God and people.  It is easy to overlook them and to see only those who are out for themselves, who live as if they were the center of the universe, and who treat others with extreme disrespect.  Yes, sometimes we are in that number, too.  But today we celebrate all the saints of all the ages, including our very own, so that their stories of faith and love can inspire us when we most need inspiration.  How different the world would be if we would only allow these mustard seeds of inspiration to sprout and germinate within and among us, so that little by little, day by day, the number standing before the throne of God to praise him with words and deeds can swell to a number impossible to count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue.

Perhaps I am being presumptuous in calling you saints or in thinking that I could be one myself, but we honor all the saints in heaven today so that we can worship and praise the God who made them saints, and in doing so, we ourselves become holier.  And whatever struggles and difficulties we may encounter in life, if we join our voices and our hearts to this great company, we will rejoice and be glad, for our reward will be great in heaven.

Happy feast day, saints of God!