Today the Church celebrates the Feast of All Saints – the faithful people who have gone before us into eternal life with the Risen Lord. These people – the saints – were ordinary people who were faithful to God on earth. They did ordinary things in an extraordinary way because they truly loved God. This Feast of All Saints returns us to the images of Holy Week – the Dying and Rising of Jesus Christ.

Today’s reading from the Book of Revelation presents a scene of multitudes of people from every century who have been faithful to Jesus Christ and who have thus received their eternal reward.

Saints are not people who live in stained glass windows or carved statues who live in Churches; they are real people like us converted by the Gospel. Their sanctity was formed in a human body with hopes and dreams strengths and weaknesses virtues and sins and emotions like ours.

They coped with adolescence and faced the problems of adulthood. Some were kings and queens, some were doctors and lawyers, others were teachers, soldiers, artists, and builders. Some were popes and bishops or priests and nuns. Some were children, some were teenagers, some were very old. Some were famous – some were infamous and some were very ordinary like ourselves. Some were poor – some were rich and some surrendered to poverty for the sake of the Gospel.

The Saints are simply those who, on hearing the Good News of the Gospel, responded with a “YES”! “Yes” to God’s will is the common thread in the lives of all the saints.

As we honor all the Saints today, and all of our beloved dead tomorrow, we are reminded that one day down the line, people will hopefully be remembering us. We are called upon to live our lives in a way that after death, we too will merit eternal life.

Sainthood is not beyond our reach – it doesn’t mean imitating someone who was martyred for our Faith centuries ago. It means imitating people who laughed and cried – just like we do. It means imitating people who sinned and used the Sacrament of Reconciliation as we are called to do. It means imitating people who tried and sinned again, just as we do.

If these saints had anything extraordinary about them – it was that they never stopped trying to live each day in union with Jesus Christ through the teaching of His Church.

By reason of our Baptism, we too are called to be saints, that is, to live each day in union with Jesus Christ through the teaching of His Church. Only when we are united to the Lord Jesus Christ are we acceptable to God the Father. Jesus came to dwell among us – to be “Emmanuel” – “God with us”. He accomplishes this presence especially in the Gift of the Holy Eucharist where He is uniquely present – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity – present in a way that is totally unlike any other. The key to sainthood is to live in a relationship to the Eucharist. All the saints loved Jesus in the Eucharist.

In the Gospel, we read that everyone who went to Jesus came away refreshed, or healed, or full of hope. Today, more than ever before, our hearts are restless.  The remedy for this restlessness, the remedy for every kind of problem, the remedy for every discouragement which comes our way is Jesus, present in the Eucharist.

On pilgrimages I have made to St. Peter’s Basilica, in Rome, I can still see the crypts below the Basilica where the mortal remains of Popes and Saints are buried. Their presence and their witness fill the Basilica with spiritual power; yet what stands out in Saint Peter’s Basilica is the chapel where Perpetual Adoration, established by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1981 – a place where thousands of visitors and pilgrims come each day to adore the Son of God.

From the upper room in Jerusalem, and the Last Supper the Eucharist is the center of life in the Church. The Eucharist was the center of the lives of the Saints, and the Eucharist must be the center of our lives.

As we celebrate the Feast of All Saints today, remember the source of their faith, their hope, and their strength – it was Jesus present in the Eucharist! Today may each of us renew our commitment to Jesus – present in the Eucharist – so that we like the Saints before us – will live in constant and total union with the Risen Lord.

Around this altar, we now join all the Saints and proclaim what we hope to sing forever: “Salvation is from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb. Alleluia!”