A Celebration of All Saints

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

This Sunday, on All Saints Sunday, we will come together to remember and celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us, leaving behind a legacy of faith and devotion. The Apostle Paul describes these faithful individuals as a "great cloud of witnesses." They have finished their earthly race and now surround us, offering inspiration and guidance as we continue our own journey of faith.

We all have people in our lives whom we consider saints, and I celebrate my mother's life, Soeurette. Mom was a woman of deep faith and unwavering love, a devoted mother and wife. Her strength and enduring trust in God are truly inspiring, and her love for her family shines through in every word. She left a lasting legacy of faith and love that will continue to guide and inspire those who knew her.

As a mother, her love knew no bounds. She tirelessly cared for her four children and other people's children, teaching them through words and demonstrating kindness, compassion, and faith. Mom was a caregiver to many, both in the USA and Haiti. Her children watched in awe as she lived a selfless life. She often reminded them, "Love one another as God loves us, and you will never be alone."

Despite experiencing pain and suffering, she held on to her unwavering faith. She continued to pray, not for her own healing, but for the happiness and well-being of her family. Her husband and children reciprocated her love, caring for her with the same tenderness she had shown them throughout her life. Confidently, I can say Mom was a saint on earth and served as a model of faith, selflessness, and unwavering love for everyone to follow.

Mom's story reminds us that sainthood is not reserved for those who perform extraordinary miracles or live on a grand scale. It can be found in the everyday lives of mothers, fathers, and individuals who leave a lasting impact on those around them through their faith, love, and selflessness. The life of my mom and your loved ones is a testament to the power of love and the influence of a saintly spirit.

As we reflect on the lives of these saints, we can draw valuable lessons from their examples:
Faithful Endurance: The lives of saints remind us of the importance of persevering through life's challenges and obstacles. They faced trials and tribulations, yet their faith remained unshaken. In their faithfulness, they teach us to hold on to God's promises even in the most difficult times.

Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus: The ultimate goal of the saints was to fix their eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of their faith. They show us that true faith is centered on Christ. As we celebrate their lives, we are reminded to focus on Jesus, the source and sustainer of our faith.

Community and Witness: Saints lived in community, supporting and encouraging one another in their faith journeys. They remind us that we are not meant to walk this journey alone. We should be present for one another, offering love, care, and support to fellow believers as we journey together toward the eternal kingdom.

As we remember our loved ones, let us also remember that each of us has the potential to be a saint in our own unique way. The call to live a holy and faithful life is not limited to a select few but extends to all believers. We are each called to be saints and, through God's grace, can inspire and guide others on their faith journey. So, are you striving towards sainthood?

Pray with me: God, thank you for the saints who have gone before us. May their story inspire us with the power of faith, love, and selflessness. Help us fix our eyes on Jesus, our faith's pioneer and perfecter, as we're inspired by these saintly examples. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.