Author: Kathy Horan
As we approach the end of the year, a challenging one at that, there is a sense of rounding out the year liturgically as well as with our everyday calendar of events.
For Catholics, our daily lives are caught up in the rhythm of journeying with and being animated by the life and mission of Jesus throughout the various celebrations of the liturgical seasons, while at the same time living in a secular world that also has its customs and traditions that cross our horizons.
At the beginning of November, we celebrate two important feast days: All Saints and All Souls. Both of these feast days relate to our belief in the ‘Communion of Saints’, which is a way of describing the whole of God’s family, living and dead.
The saints are those people of great faith down through the ages who have borne witness to Jesus and often given their lives for their faith in him. They are ordinary people who lived their lives showing extraordinary courage, generosity of mind and heart in being of service to others, caring for the poor and marginalised, advocating for those without a voice, providing food, clothing, shelter and education for those lacking resources, while allowing the Spirit of Jesus to lead them and guide them. In this lies their greatness: their unshakeable faith in the Lord and their openness to share their faith with others. In the Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass, we name these people as ‘those who have died in your friendship’ and who are ‘marked with the sign of faith’.