1987 Nov 1 – All Saints Day (Bulletin Letters)
October 31, 1987
“I SAW BEFORE ME A HUGE CROWD WHICH NO ONE COULD COUNT, FROM EVERY NATION, RACE, PEOPLE AND TONGUE…HE TOLD ME, THESE ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE SURVIVED THE GREAT PERIOD OF TRIAL: THEY HAVE WASHED THEIR ROBES AND MADE THEM WHITE IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB.” Revelations 1/9-14
With an eye on the immediate and insight from the future, John the Seer wrote the Book of Revelation. Written about 96 AD, the Church was into its third generation and saw nothing but persecution ahead. John expected a great persecution to break out on the Church of Asia Minor. He knew many would die a martyr’s death. Like all apocalyptic literature, John wrote to encourage the faithful in a time of great persecution. If we take what the Seer wrote literally we would say that he was wrong. History did not End with the Roman persecution, but that would be misreading the book. John’s central message was one of encouragement; his major theme was that God was in control no matter what happened. In Apocalyptic writing, the current crisis is always seen as the last crisis before the End. It is a style of writing. The message and the theme are what are important. Each age has its own crisis, its own spiritual struggle that confronts it with the eternal issues of life and death, truth and lies, light and darkness. History for the Book of Revelation is a struggle between good and evil in which, through the victory of Christ, the victory of the faithful is assured. The good news in the above verse is that the elect will come “from every nation, race, people and tongue.” Therefore, no nation, race, people or culture has a corner on The Way to God. Each in its own way can be lived in a faithful manner. The task is to survive the great period of trial with the Spirit of Christ within your heart.
ALL SAINTS DAY / ALL SOULS DAY: This weekend we are celebrating the feast of All Saints. It is a holy day of obligation that landed on this Sunday this year. The Church also celebrates All Souls Day the very next day. All Saints Day was originally a commemoration of martyrs of the early persecutions whose names were unrecorded and who therefore could not be included in the list of martyrs. They were never canonized, though they may have qualified if anything had been known about them. All Souls Day is a commemoration of all the faithfully departed. We are wrapping things up in the Church year. All Saints Day and All Souls Day are the Church’s way of making sure we don’t miss anyone.
P.S. Congratulations!!! We’ve paid off the mortgage on the Rectory!