Homily by Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna
First of all I would like to extend a cordial welcome to our friends from abroad. Welcome to this celebration of All Hallows, all Saints in this extraordinary cathedral that is an icon for European Union.
Today the Lord talks to us about blessedness. Blessed are the meek, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are those who are persecuted (cf Mt 5: 5.9.10) and we rely on the intercession of so many friends who were blessed through the grace of discipleship and were also endowed with the gifts of mercy. The prayer of the Church at the beginning of this solemn mass prays for the gift of mercy. Our holiness is the masterpiece of the Lord’s mercy working in our lives.
And so today we rejoice in the faith of the communion of saints; we believe in the communion of saints. This is the faith that has been passed on to us. These are our friends who enjoy the beatific vision, enjoy the peace that we pray for when we think of our departed beloved and who intercede for us before the throne of the Lord’s justice and mercy.
These are our friends. In life, except for the Virgin Mary, they shared our sinfulness but they also shared the privilege to be forgiven and through that forgiveness, they reached holiness. They are our friends because they are for us an example of discipleship and they encourage us to be ready to pay the price of discipleship.
They are friends because their blood and their sweat has earned so many new members in the communion of the faithful: sanguis martirum, semen Christianorum. But also sodor, or sudor, sudor sanctorum, semen Christianorum. It’s not only the blood of martyrs that is a seed for the fecundity of the Church, but also the sweat of the confessors and the heroism of the virgins, the generosity of the widows, of the lay people who gave their lives to be disciples of the Lord.
The saints were justified; they were made just. They let the Lord make them just. In the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican sinner, Jesus teaches us that we need to let the Lord make us just. Any temptation to rely on our self-righteousness, on our bravura, is vanity, vanity of vanities.
And so we rejoice today because looking at our saints we see an image of what the Lord wants to do with us if we let him. And we pray that as our friends, the saints, let the Lord work in them and through them, making them just through his mercy and his love, we also let the Lord make us just, justifying us through his love and mercy.
✠ Charles J. Scicluna
Archbishop of Malta
Reading I: Apoc 7:2-4,9-14
Psalm: 23 (24), 1-2.3-4ab.5-6
Gospel: Mt 5:1-12a