Father Senior’s Scripture reflection

Father Donald Senior, CP

Nov. 1: Solemnity of All Saints

Rv 7:2-4, 9-14; Ps 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6; 1 Jn 3:1-3; Mt 5:1-12


All Saints’ Day is a beautiful feast celebrating the call to holiness open to all the daughters and sons of God — those already wrapped in God’s loving embrace and those of us still on the road.

Paul the Apostle frequently referred to his fellow Christians as “saints” or “holy ones.” The Greek word he used is “hagios,” meaning to be holy or saintly. The same word in fact is used of God, the “all holy one.” Paul applied this title to all Christians, not just the ones who seemed to be the most pious or well-behaved.

This call to holiness reaches deep into the Scriptures. In Leviticus 19:2, God summons Moses to tell the people: “Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” This is a command that rings down through the entirety of the Bible.

The notion of humans imitating the holiness of God is something distinctive about our faith. Most ancient religions did not correlate the worship of their gods with the values that ought to guide their lives.

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Senior is president emeritus, chancellor and professor of New Testament studies at Catholic Theological Union, 5401 S. Cornell Ave.

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