“..well done, good & faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master..” We are here to celebrate the feast of All Saints..the Communion of Saints..the common unity which binds us all together on our journey our pilgrimage of faith..onwards & upwards towards Heaven.. Two days two feasts two moments of remembrance.. All Saints today All Souls tomorrow..”do this in memory of me”.. three stages on our journey into everlasting life..three flocks of beloved sheep..& thanks be to God not a mention of goats..as if Our Lord the Good Shepherd could ever be selectively judgemental & dismissive.. The Church militant..thee & me..up & at it; passionate, battling against secular tide & making a good fist of it..a very good fist of it be sure..this is no day for long faces grumpy sheep.. The Church suffering..those who have died & are in process of final reformation..that fine tuning into perfect love in Christ, in a safe place & time we term Purgatory.. & finally & for all time..timeless..the Church triumphant..our brothers & sisters in Christ who have made it to Heaven..who have entered into the joy of the Master.. today is their day their birthday the day we remember their coming of age as full Saints
..we begin this Mass by acknowledging the gap gulf divide between where they are & where we are now..realising that the gap will be healed not by any performance related reward for good behaviour on our part, but by gift; unmerited undeserved unearned..the gift of love from a God who is loving us to death & into everlasting life.. ..”indeed I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise”.. & all the repentant thief asked for is what we long to hear..that we are remembered..
“Jesus remember me..” me a thief & a disciple.. ; Lord have mercy “my son my daughter, you are with me always & all I have is yours” ;Christ have mercy “..your brother sister has come to life, was lost & is found..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Once long ago, an Indian warrior found an eagle’s egg on a remote mountaintop ;he carefully brought it down & put it next to the eggs a hen was to be sitting on. When the time came, the chicks hatched, & so did the little eagle, who had been kept warmed in same brood. The tiny eagle grew alongside the hatchlings; in time it learned to cackle like chickens, to scratch the ground to look for worms, & it limited itself into going up into lower branches of the shrubs, like all the other chickens. One day when it was old, the eagle was looking up to the sky & saw a magnificent bird flying high up majestically on the thermals seeming effortlessly. The old eagle was awestruck. He turned to the nearest chicken & asked “what bird is that?” the chicken looked up & said “oh that’s the golden eagle, the queen of the skies. But don’t pay any attention to it. you & I belong down here, we are chickens” the eagle never again looked up & it died thinking it was a chicken.”
..a day to remember, or to be told for the first time, just how majestic we are..some of us brought up in a religion which told us we were chickens sinners; battery fed in hutches each Sunday, doing what everyone else had been taught to do..to cackle scratch forage..a limited existence..to be trusted to wander & enjoy free range experience was too much of a risk..pecking for leftovers, stooped like me..until, one All Saints Day, we were encouraged to look up, & we saw our loved ones in their full magnificence, soaring on the thermals the warmth adventure enjoyment of Holy Spirit in the sky of Heaven..golden eagles beloved disciples watching us carefully tenderly, fully aware from a distance of our journey in their slipstream as saints in the making..our fellow golden eagles encouraging us to live work pray & love effortlessly..to let go of our grip of lowest branches take off & fly..
..the gospel of the Beatitudes..sadly thinly translated as a litany of happiness..“happy” whereas the fullness of golden eagles are at home with “blessed” when we wing it .. Happy for a youngster on half term last night; Halloween happy is to sit on his bed surrounded by his gains from a night of trick or treat..a galaxy of treats..only dilemma is in deciding which to eat first..a ”happy” young chicken.. whereas two hours later, washed pyjama-ed, he is in bed under his duvet, being tucked in by his Mum with a good night kiss & a prayer off by heart from the heart..a ”blessed” young eagle.. ..are we blessed or are we blessed to be here now in best of company?..the Communion of Saints in this theatre of dreams..