My Dear Sisters and Brothers! Today we look into the world to come as we honour, as we have heard in our first reading, “a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language, standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands.” Who are they? All Saints. However even among us gathered here are different ways of looking into the world to come. Some of us may be looking into heaven with tears in the eyes like those who are mourning their families in Russia right now. Some may look into heaven with hope and great longing to see the Lord face to face. Some may be doubtful that what lays there can be better than what they have already here on earth. Some may be afraid of leaving behind their loved ones. Some may even think that the world of All Saints is a fairy story; that the life of each of us ends when we die. Some may be afraid to stand before the Lord as we are aware of our sins and unfaithfulness to his word. Have I exhausted all possible ways of looking into heaven? If I missed your case you can add it to my sermon quietly in your heart right now. That’s why for all of us this day of All Saints is like an open door, which we are not walking through yet, but it gives us a glimpse of what awaits us there.
Today as some are mourning their loved ones I would like to focus on the third beatitude from the Gospel: “Happy those who mourn.” I am sure that it wouldn’t be easy to say it to the people at Saint Petersburg right now, would it be? So what is Jesus talking about? He talks about a particular kind of mourning which comes from the realisation that I have lost touch with God. It is mourning which is triggered by seeing my sins which separate me from the Lord. It is like the mourning of the Jews when they saw their beautiful and sacred city of Jerusalem destroyed by the enemies and they realised that it had happened because of their sins, because they broke their faith in God. In the midst of such mourning we find our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ who says: “They shall be comforted” not by words but by having the Lord embracing them. In heaven there is no refugee camp, because entering heaven we enter the kingdom where… Who is the king there? God, your and my Father. Entering kingdom of heaven washed by the Blood of his Son and our Brother Jesus Christ we enter our inheritance. Not something we have deserved but something we have been called to; because God wants us there with him.
As I reflect on this scene described by the beloved Apostle of Jesus, St John: “I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language, standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands” I think that I am not far from the truth when I believe that they are there waiting for me to come; because since my life kicked off I am heaven-bound. I am very grateful to the Church for opening for me that door to heaven today to see a huge number of people, and God of course, he is the most important in today’s feast day, waiting for my save arrival. I hope a similar sentiment is in your heart right now too.