Today is the Solemnity of All Saints—the day that we celebrate everyone who is in heaven and what they mean to us.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
All Saint’s Day is a wonderful celebration for the Church because it reminds us that in death, our relationship is “changed, not ended” and our belief that we will one day be reunited with our beloved dead. It also reminds us that we are called, by virtue of our Baptism, to be Saint’s, too! The first reading, from the Book of Revelation, offers us a vision of heaven. The second reading, from the first letter of John, tells us that, “we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” How cool is that? We will be like God—what Jesus was in the Resurrection is a model of what we will be, too! Finally, the Gospel gives us a roadmap for Sainthood—the Beatitudes. In them, Jesus tells us what our attitudes should be if we are going to live as children of God.
You can read this Sunday’s readings here:
Break Open the Word with Your Family
What do you think heaven will be like? Draw a picture of what you think heaven will look like.
Did you know that you are called to be a Saint? What do you think that means? It doesn’t mean being perfect! St. Peter denied Jesus in his darkest hour, Paul helped persecute Christians before he became one, and St. Nicholas (Santa Clause) punched a guy in the face for being a heretic. That’s the most beautiful thing about God’s love—it is forgiving and unconditional. We are called to do our best—our real best—to be loving toward one another and develop our relationship with God. If we do develop a relationship with God, we will live that call to love more perfectly every day and mess up less. Think about how you can start living deliberately in a relationship with God and how you can be more “saintly.”
The month of November is a special time for us to remember our beloved dead. Our relationship is beautiful—we pray for them to move from Purgatory to Heaven, and they pray for us for everything! What does belonging to a Communion of Saints mean for you? What does our relationship with the dead mean to you? Take a moment to thank God for the people that you have lost, and ask them to pray for you.
A little lectio
The ancient practice of prayerfully reflecting on bits of Scripture is known as lectio divina. Want to try it out with your family? Head over to Lectio Divina for Kids to find out how to adapt this prayer practice for your kids.
A little Bible study
Want to do a little Bible study with your kids? Here are some tips:
- During Ordinary Time, the Church pairs the Old Testament and New Testament readings in a way that each sheds light on the other. Ask your kids to look for the common theme connecting the two readings. (Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it is subtle.) How does the “dialogue” between the readings help you understand them better?
- Get a New American Bible, Revised Edition, and take a look at the footnotes for these readings. How do they change your understanding of what is going on?
- Take a look at the context for the readings—what happens before, or after?
- Read the NABRE’s introduction to the book of the Bible that the readings are taken from. How does that help you understand the readings?
- If you don’t have a copy of the NABRE at home, you can view it online at the USCCB website at the Daily Readings web page. (The link will take you to today’s reading; click forward or backward on the dates to get to Sunday’s readings.)
For even more resources for breaking open this Sunday’s readings, head over to The Sunday Website.
The image for Breaking Open the Word at Home is taken from a 17th century illuminated manuscript by an anonymous (but very talented) artist. The text is from the beginning of the Book of Sirach, chapter 1, verses 1-12, which begins: “All wisdom is from the Lord and remains with him forever.”