SALT LAKE CITY — For the Feast of All Saints, a holy day of obligation, Bishop Oscar A. Solis presided at the noon Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.
“The saints are our Church heroes,” the bishop said in his homily. “Those are the men and women who are in heaven, having died and having received a wonderful reward from God for being faithful men and women in their love of God and their love for one another.”
The saints lived exemplary lives in spite of their struggles and pain; they found extraordinary ways to extend goodness and love to others, or they died as martyrs, suffering and professing their faith in the Lord, he said.
“We are also called to be saints like the ones we honor today,” he said, adding that the call to be a saint is given to each and every person.
The path to sainthood is spelled out in the Beatitudes, which were the focus of the day’s Gospel reading (MT 5:1-12).
A life lived according to the Beatitudes is counter to the world’s teaching, because “the teachings of Christ are quite different and radical,” Bishop Solis said. “He challenges us and brings the goodness out in us. … He said that we must [put more value on] God in our heart and in our life. We should empty our heart of the things of the world in order to fill it with things that are from God.”
Following the teachings of Christ means going against modern culture, but “the saints who we honor today prove that it is possible – that we can be holy because God calls each and every one of us to be like him,” he said.
The process of making a saint is like that of making a jack o’ lantern, the bishop said.
“Making a saint means that God picks us up like a pumpkin, pulls us in and washes the dirt off of us,” he said. God then “plucks out all the impurities from us. He takes the seeds of hatred, of sin, and all the things that are not good.”
Some cuts, like the carvings on a jack o’ lantern, make people happy and joyful, and then God puts his light inside; he “puts in us the grace of God and the Holy Spirit to enlighten the world around us,” Bishop Solis said.
“Let us pray to God that we will receive the grace in the celebration of the Holy Spirit, that we might have the inspiration and courage and the determination to follow the teachings of Christ and to be holy and to be counted as saints in heaven,” he said as he concluded his homily.