What is your goal in life?

For majority of the people, it would run along the lines of getting a good education in the university, a career job that pays well enough to live an opulent, or more realistically, a comfortable lifestyle. Coming from a poor family, this was indeed my dream. When I (Anthony) became a catholic in the 1960’s, I assume that being catholic is just another religion. The mass was conducted in Latin and since I didn’t understand the language and what was actually going on, I just follow the crowd. It was very much later in life that I begin to understand what the purpose of life and my true vocation is – a call to holiness!

Our life on earth is temporal compared to spending eternity in our next life with God our Father. We spend an inordinate amount of time pursuing the things of this world. St Matthew wrote “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?” (Mt 16:26) Each one of us are called to strive for holiness and not let our attachment to things of this world hinder us in our quest for holiness. (Lumen Gentium chapter 5).

In celebrating the feast of all saints today, we are reminded of the calling we received at baptism, a call to holiness, a call to fulfil our vocation as saints. The saints whom we know are the famous and popular ones listed in the liturgical calendar or have churches named after them. The Roman Martyrology list about 9000 saints who have been beautified and canonized.  Majority of the saints are anonymous. In the first reading of today, John in his vision, saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe, and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands and shouting “Victory to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!” (Rev 7:9). These saints may be unknown, but God knows each and everyone of them by name.

As they say “Every saint has a past.” No saint is ever perfect. No saints before us is without sin “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23) St Paul was a zealous persecutor of Christians before his conversion on the road to Damascus. (Like St Paul, let us always remember our conversion story, as none of us are totally converted, so that we will continually strive on our journey to holiness.) St Peter was impulsive, saying the wrong thing most of the time, lacking in faith, a coward that denies Jesus…but after his baptism of fire on Pentecost, he was no longer wavering, and remained steadfast and faithful even to his death. St John wrote “My dear friends, we are God’s children but what we shall be in the future has not yet been revealed. We are well aware that when he appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is.” (1 Jn 3:2) This is our Hope, to see God face to face.

Jesus says “I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn14:6). Christ has shown us the way and countless Christians after him has followed Him on the path to holiness. Let us imitate these saints and model our life on Christ, following his footsteps. Today, we are called to live the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12), the way to holiness.  Ultimately, we can only achieve our vocation to become saints by the grace of God, and our co-operation with his grace.


By the Grace of God,

Anthony & Cecilia