“In those days, behold, I John, saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, who had it in their power to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” …
“The Lamb, who dwells where the throne is, will be their shepherd, leading them out to the springs whose water is life; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
A beautiful lesson for All Saints, a glimpse into heaven and it reminds is the Passover and the Exodus. The Lamb of God is ever leading us onwards in this eternal journey of life, where there will be no more tears. Only the constant growth into new life, life as we have never known it, deepening more and more in the moments of passing time.
Power, grace, glory. Peace, beauty, might. Meekness, humility, strength.
All await us, and the heavenly realm is cheering us on.
Do they stop in sadness when we fail or fall into error and sin? Do they help to build a wall of protection around us to keep us from serious sin? A confessor once pointed out to me the graces of having such happen in my life, where I’ve not fallen into serious sin amidst great temptations.
When all is said and done, and we stand before the Lord in our judgment, everything will be revealed. Every saint had been a sinner – not every sinner is a saint.
Time. The gift of time is ours.
One day when I was in Jerusalem – which is not something that happens often at all – I was visiting the Tomb of the Holy Sepulchre, and standing in a line of pilgrims who were patiently waiting to see the spot where it’s said that our Lord’s crucifixion took place. It’s an important moment in the life of a place for such an event to occur, so it makes sense that people would remember the spot, and be able to point it out to those who came behind, such as Helena who immediately enshrined the place.
But as I stood in line I prayed a rosary, and then contemplated the crucifixion. I had time here, as the line was long. I had been before when no one was around, and it was an interesting site and impressed me with its historicity. So I got caught up in waiting, then being impatient. Then praying and then being impatient again.
I noticed that people were kissing the spot of calvary that was exposed. To do so you have to kneel down and sort of crawl under a free-standing altar, then kiss the place, crawl back out and be on your way. So I planned it out in my mind as to how to do this so as not to hold up the line be as quick as possible, and be on my way.
I wanted to reverence the spot. I knew it was important, I was trying to remain prayerful. But my rational intellect had it boiled down to the physical steps required to be simple, brief and respectful. I hardly expected what happened.
Slowly the line crept forward, inch by inch. My turn to kiss the stone of calvary edged ever closer.
Finally, my turn came and I knelt down, crawled under the altar and kissed the stone. What happened next stunned me because it was as if everything around me disappeared and I was literally at the foot of the cross, with a terrible wind and darkness, Jesus scourged upon the crucifix, then with blood and water pouring from his side washing over me.
The moment seemed to have gone for a very long time, though in reality, it was all in an instant. I crawled back out and left, forever changed. To this day at the consecration of every Mass I say, the same thing happens to some degree, and at times I will see various people being washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. I’m grateful for the glimpse into the sacred mystery, and it helps me through the trials of contemporary Priesthood.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. All you holy men and women bless the Lord. Praise and exalt Him above all forever, Amen.