From the Vicarage
On the 24th October, the hour went back, and darkness closed in around us as the nights became longer. It is too easy to look on the end of October and beginning of November with a touch of despair; fallen leaves, dampness, fog, and rain. The church has traditionally associated the end of the year with the end of life. On the 1st November, we celebrate the festival of All Saints’, and we commemorate the faithful departed the next day, Monday, 2nd November. The festival of All Saints’ and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed are meant to shed light at the beginning of these dark days. All Saints’ helps us to call to mind the ordinary people from ages past who lived a Godly life. Few of them held important positions in life and their names do not appear on any official role of honour. They are not canonised saints. Many lived in obscurity, died unknown, and all memory of them has faded. Their lives are not marked by any great occurrence. God alone remembers them and the good works they have performed. They are the ordinary people of life. People who in their daily lives have tried to live the Christian life to the full. Like each one of us, they experienced the trails of growing up, the tensions and frustrations of living with others, and the normal difficulties and uncertainties of life. They had to cope with their own personal problems and weaknesses. But, however great their difficulties and faults, they accepted that God loved them and they relied on the strength of that love more than anything else; the way they lived their lives was more important than the recognition they attained.
The Festival of All Saints’ and The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed should give us fresh inspiration to continue taking up our cross daily, and to follow Christ. We too can strive to live the Christian life to the full. Heaven is within our reach. These festivals remind us that holiness of life is not for the privileged few but what God expects of all of us. Holiness is about bringing the Spirit of Christ into our lives; it is about doing ordinary things well. The command of Jesus, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect,” is addressed to everyone. We are called to reflect something of the holiness of God himself in the way we live our life.
With my love and prayers.