This Sunday, we will celebrate the Feast of All Saints. In preparation, I encourage you to think of at least three persons you can name with thanksgiving who have already entered into eternal life. Perhaps one person from the pages of scripture or church history; one who is a friend; and the one person you most miss this year. All too often, in our broken world, we can name far more than three. Thankfully, in a world charged and changed through Jesus’ resurrection, the days of our separation are irreversibly counting down. This feast of All Saints gives us an opportunity to remember and reorient to the mystery of Christ and his body, the church. Our scriptures for Sunday highlight this good news as well as these holy people that we know by experience and by reputation through the love of God.
The Gospel reading originally appointed for Sunday raises a question often asked as we hear Jesus’ words to the scribes and Pharisees. While all of Matthew chapter 23 clarifies Jesus’ intent, you can look into the window of the problem in verse 9, where Jesus says,
“And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”