|Pen and Ink Reflections||
Whenever we baptise someone, we give them a candle, lit from the great Paschal candle, the symbol of the resurrection. And we say, ‘shine as a light in the world to the glory of God’. Whenever we do that, I see them as joining the great river of light, that extends back into the past to all the lights that have shone, and into the future to all those who will follow after – the river of light that is another way of describing the ‘communion of saints’. Today on this All Saints Day we celebrate that river of light. In that river of light, there are some patches perhaps of greater intensity – the lights of some of those we acknowledge as the greatest ‘saints’, from Mary the mother of Christ, down through folk like St Francis whom we celebrate on this site, and others no doubt precious to each of us, who have shown what it is to shine as a light in the world...
What does holiness, and being saintly, look like to you?
Where have you seen and experienced holiness, in the lives of other human beings you might call saintly?
On this feast of All Saints it is right for us to ponder for a moment, and to reflect, perhaps with others, on what we have seen and heard… what, I wonder, do we see, and who and what do we call holy? How does this fit with the patterns and pointers we find in our Scriptures and Tradition?
As today we celebrate the feast of All Saints, it is important to remember that in a real sense we are all saints, for we are saved, made whole, by our faith in Jesus Christ. At the same time we celebrate today the great Saints, those whose lives shine with God’s glory and grace so much that we are drawn to follow in their footsteps. I am sure we will all have our favourites in that great panoply, but as we are here at St. Francis College I thought I would share with you a story about someone, we’ll call him Simon, who set out to follow St. Francis...
Have you heard the tale of the barefoot man, the migrant woman and the taxi driver? It is a true story that Pope Francis recently told to more than 25 000 people gathered in St Peter’s Square…