All Saints Day 2023
This past weekend, the actor Matthew Perry, best known for his role on the TV show "Friends," passed away at the age of 54. You might be wondering what this has to do with All Saints Day.
Well, the theme song from "Friends" has a refrain that many of us know by heart: "I'll be there for you, 'cause you're there for me too."
As we reflect on the lives of the saints today, this familiar line can help us better understand the profound spiritual bond we share with them and with each other.
The phrase "I'll be there for you" isn't just a catchy lyric; it captures a truth about the role the saints play in our spiritual lives. Throughout history, men and women have lived out the Gospel in extraordinary ways.
Their lives serve as beacons guiding us toward holiness. They've been there for us as role models, teaching us through their lives and writings, and they continue to be there for us as intercessors, praying for us from their place in Heaven.
Today's Gospel reading gives us the Beatitudes, a roadmap to sainthood.
When we hear "Blessed are the poor in spirit," we might think of St. Francis of Assisi, who gave up worldly riches to seek spiritual wealth.
"Blessed are those who mourn" brings to mind St. Monica, who prayed incessantly for the conversion of her son, St. Augustine.
And "Blessed are the meek" reminds us of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, with her "Little Way" of humility and simplicity.
Each Beatitude provides a stepping stone toward the ultimate goal of Christian life—union with God, a path that each saint has walked in their own unique way.
But the saints aren't just historical figures to be admired; they're an active part of our spiritual lives here and now. And just as they are there for us, we are called to be there for others.
Living out the Beatitudes is not an isolated, individualistic endeavor; it's a communal journey. We're called to be role models of faith for our families, friends, and communities. Each one of us has the potential to be someone else's 'saint'—a source of inspiration and spiritual support.
So let us ask ourselves: How can I be more Christ-like in my daily interactions? How can I 'be there' for the people God has placed in my life?
As we celebrate the Feast of All Saints, let us remember that we are part of an immense, loving community that spans both Heaven and Earth. The communion of saints is, in a way, the ultimate circle of friends who are 'there for you.' And they invite us to be part of that circle by living out the Gospel.
So, let's take a lesson from our beloved saints and that familiar theme song. Let's strive to be there for each other, supporting one another on our journey toward holiness.