church in every home
Feast Of All Saints
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: November 1, 2020
During the Covid Pandemic Lockdown I saw the following Cartoon. It shows the devil speaking with God. The devil was very smug saying, “With Covid 19 I closed your churches!” God responded: “On the contrary, I just opened one in every home.”
Wherever there is one person in love with Jesus, who is trying to live as a disciple of Jesus, the church is alive and present as the body of Christ. We are not the church only when we are gathered together in a church building. We are called to be the church wherever we live, where we study, where we work, where we play. It begins in our home, to create a home that is the domestic church, a home where the presence of God’s Spirit is alive. We are called to be Saints by bringing light to every small corner of our world.
We sometimes see the Saints as otherworldly, as beyond us. But, Saints did not live in some great past time when everything was wonderful and great. Most Saints lived in times of great crisis. A crisis within their society, a crisis within the church, or sometimes a crisis in both.
Beginning with the first Apostles who lived at the time of the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Some who lived in times of persecution, some of them facing martyrdom, including many even in our own time. Those who lived in times when society had broken down and collapsed. Those who lived in times of division within the church. These Saints lived in such a way to witness to the light of the Gospel, brought the way of Jesus into the society and the church in which they lived.
Our new patron Saint, St. Catherine of Siena, is a model of this. She lived during the Black Plague in Europe which killed large portions of their population and had profound effects on their society. She also lived during the great crisis in the church when the Pope was exiled in Avignon France and there were divisions over who was the true Pope. In the midst of this crisis within her society and within the church, St. Catherine lived the Gospel with courage and brought light into the world of her time.
A Saint is someone who lives their life modelled on the Beatitudes. It is a counter cultural way of life. Look at politics, business, relations within families, so often we see people interested in winning and defeating others. We see fighting and division. The Beatitudes way of life is about win win relationships. It is about being willing to lose the battle to bring about something greater.
Beatitudes offer a different vision of success. One that leaves room for others. The world’s vision of success is success by beating out others, winning out over others, putting others down.
The Beatitude’s vision of success is success that always includes others, brings others along, builds up others. Imagine this vision of success guiding our politics, business, finance, family life, inter-religious dialogue?
There is an election coming up this Tuesday. Some of you may be watching this! I am not going to discuss the political choices being made next Tuesday. But, it highlights an important question we need to ask ourselves.
What type of politicians do we need today? What type of business people do we need today? What type of priests or religious do we need today? What type of parents or grandparents do we need today? What type of teachers do we need today? What type of students do we need today?
The basic answer to all of these questions is that we need them to be Saints. Politicians, business people, priests and religious, parents and grandparents, teachers, students, we need them to be saints.
To do this by embracing the way of the beatitudes.
Coming to pray at the Church is important, but it only matters if we then send people out who are striving to be saints within our world. To bring the light of God into every corner of our world.
The devil or Covid may be able to close church buildings down for a time, but as long as one person is living the Gospel, as long as one home keeps the Gospel alive, then the church is very much alive.
We are to join the Saints throughout the ages by going out today to our homes, to where we work, to where we study, bringing light into each corner of our world.
How are you going to bring light into our world?
We are to open a church in every home, in every corner.