We are all called to Holiness, says Cardinal Wuerl
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
“No one says it is easy, but through faith, perseverance, prayer and love, by the grace of God, we can grow in holiness in our lives until that day we arrive at full communion with him and his love.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington celebrated Mass today for the Solemnity of all Saints at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C.
Cardinal Wuerl began his homily formally recognizing both the canonized heroes of our faith and the numerous other saints who do not have a special day of recognition. Referencing the first reading from the Book of Revelation, the cardinal explained that we take consolation in the image of the saved throng in Heaven because it implies that many followers of Jesus get to Heaven. “It is certainly the basis for our hope that if we are faithful disciples of Jesus and live according to his way, we will someday reach the glory of Heaven,” said the cardinal.
Cardinal Wuerl then told a story of his experience visiting a detention center for young violent offenders. “Finding a topic of conversation was not particularly easy until I started asking them their names,” he said. “The first, a young man sent to the center following his conviction for an assault that left his victim dead, said his name was ‘Mike.’ I asked if he knew who his patron saint was. Did he know anything about St. Michael, the Archangel?” This led to the cardinal telling the man the story of St. Michael, the great warrior angel who defeated Satan. The cardinal then told them that our patron saint is there for us as a friend, even if we don’t know him or her, which prompted others at the table to ask about their saints. “At the end of what turned out to be a very engaging meal and conversation, as the warden came to tell us that dinner time was concluded, I reminded each of the six that when that they went to bed that night they could ask their newly discovered saint friend to ‘be there for me,’” said the cardinal.
“My brothers and sisters, this feast day, this Solemnity of All Saints says the same thing to all of us. In a particular way, those of us who were given a saint’s name at baptism or confirmation find in that saint a personal patron upon whom we can count on for our own particular needs.” In celebrating today’s feast day, the cardinal said we recognize that we are a part of that communion of faithful disciples of Jesus, we can remind ourselves that as members of God’s family we should be there to help one another along the way to closeness with God, along the pathway as we respond to the call to holiness, said the cardinal as he concluded his homily.
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The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 95 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.