All Saints’ Sunday celebrates the baptized people of God, living and dead, who are the body of Christ. This day and the appointed readings are pregnant with themes of stark contrast: death and life, condemnation and redemption, sorrow and joy, suffering and relief, present life and future life. As baptized children of God, the very nature of our lives is of stark contrast. By virtue of our baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are made saints while we are still sinners.
As November heralds the dying of the landscape in many northern regions, the readings and liturgy call us to remember all who have died in Christ and whose baptism is complete. At the Lord’s table we gather with the faithful of every time and place as if at a great cosmic family reunion. And we trust that the promises of God made in baptism will be fulfilled and that all the tears that fall as we light a candle in memory of our loved ones will be wiped away in the new Jerusalem (Revelation 7). Today we give thanks for the saints who have gone before us, for the saints still among us, and for the saints of God still yet to come.
image: By Fra Angelico – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3000363