HOMILY ON THE SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS, YEAR C
One common phrase in our daily life is the construction “because of you!” We hear these words as often as possible in our places of education, work and religious activities. They may sound common but indeed, this line of words has changed the life of many people. Some have received different levels of favour because of these words! Some have been employed just because of these words! This is not different in the religious setting! The lives of many have been transformed because of these lines. Some have received healing, breakthrough, restoration, reconciliation, success, progress, etc. All these wouldn’t have taken place if not for the intervention of those I choose to call “Because of you Personalities!”
The Holy Scripture abound with many figures because of whose relationship with God and timely spiritual intervention God’s people received many spiritual and material favours! Because of Noah (Gen 6:8), the world was not completely destroyed. Because of Abraham (Genesis 19:29), Lot and his family were liberated from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah! Because of the prayerful intervention of Moses (Exodus 32:11-14), God relented from venting His wrath on the people of Israel! At different and uncountable times, the People of Israel received blessings and graces from God only by invoking God’s promises to our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. All these and many others can best be described as “Because of you Personalities.” The New Testament account of this category of persons is inexhaustible. From Mary the Mother of the Incarnate Word (John 2:1-11) to the Apostles and Disciples of Jesus Christ, down to the cloud of witnesses through whom the grace of God and the irreplaceable redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ bore the greatest of fruits in the lives of God’s Children; many have continued to make progress in the spiritual life to classify them into this category of people.
We must note that in all of these persons, it is still the power of God that is at work. It is still a manifestation of the fruits of Jesus’ mission on earth. It is still an expression of the ever flowing fountain of grace, life and upliftment springing from the Paschal Mystery of our Lord Jesus; the One and Only Saviour of the human race. Each of these personalities expand as against diminishing; promote as against retarding; expose as against obstructing; the power in the mission and ministry of Christ. When we speak of these personalities in our time, we speak of the saints; those who have borne witness to the lamb that was slain (Rev 5:12). This group of persons has greatly enriched not only the Church of God by their life style but also they have continued to be a source of inspiration to generations after them. Because of their powerful and efficacious intercession, many people have continued to obtain blessings and favours from God.
Today the Church celebrates the host of all the saints who have received “the Crown of unfading glory” (1 Pet 5:4); both those who are officially canonized by the Church and those uncanonized. Our celebration of them is reminiscence to all of us to make every possible effort to join this band of “Because of You Personalities.” Our life both in this world and in the world to come must be a source of relieve to those around us. Because of you personalities brings succor and relieve; they are stimulants of divine favours. This is what God wants us to be and that is the fulcrum of our celebration today.
I wish you the best of today’s solemnity and may the Saints obtain graces and favours for you in this New Month. May God decorate you with all the inner dispositions you need to become a “Because of you Personality.” Happy Solemnity! Happy New Month!!
-Fr Cyril Unachukwu