Getting Ready for All Saints' Sunday | 11/03/2019
Our Foundations series concludes this Sunday and at the following Eucharist:
All Saints' (Nov. 3) and "Stir Up Sunday" (Nov. 17).
Each sermon in this series is intended to stand alone. So if this Sunday is your first visit to Incarnation, you'll be well able to join in without any catching up.
On All Saints' Sunday we are celebrating the sacrament of Holy Baptism. It will be a rich and joyful gathering!
In preparation, here is the collect (or prayer) for All Saints' followed by a brief reflection by St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical Body of your Son: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
"Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.
"Come, brothers, let us at length spur ourselves on. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us. We should not only want to be with the saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also earnestly seek to share in their glory. Do not imagine that there is anything harmful in such an ambition as this; there is no danger in setting our hearts on such glory."
(Click on the links below to read Sunday's passages)
First Reading: Ecclesiasticus 44:1-14
Second Reading: Revelation 7:9-17
Gospel Reading: Luke 6:20-36