Thursday, October 31, 2013

Putting on Christ

     They came dressed as Woody or Spiderman or a princess or a witch or a ghost.  Some were gruesome to behold and others were downright cute.  They celebrated a locally rainy evening of "trick or treating" on this All Hallows Eve in 2013.  The decorating for Halloween has surpassed even Christmas, and it has become a major holiday.  Not long ago I was in conversation with one of my physical therapists and we mentioned Halloween.  He commented that this secular celebration was growing in society, but that it had no ties to the world of the sacred.

     I stopped him there and reminded him that Halloween is a take on "All Hallows Eve", the night before the great feast of All Hallows (or All Saints).  On All Hallows we rejoice in those who have finished the journey and who share in the heavenly vision - the saints of God.  On the Eve, we remember all of the dead who have gone before us in Faith and who are on the way to that beatific vision - the Faithful Departed who are sometimes called the "Poor Souls" (I'm not sure why they are named such, for they also share the love of God and while yet journeying, they are destined for glory as well - definitely not poor). 

     Today is not about ghosts and goblins, scary creatures or make believe characters.  Today and tomorrow are about remembering our call to holiness, our destiny as the saints of God, the glory that has been given to us at our baptism.  We clothe ourselves not with costumes and make-up and masks, but with the dignity and glory that is found in Christ.  We are clothed in Christ.  The baptismal garment and the funeral pall are reminders at the beginning and the end of our earthy journey of the greater reality of that glory.  It is not found in garment or in cloth, it is not something that covers the true self, but it comes from within and reveals the inner beauty that the Lord sees in us, it reveals the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit within our lives.

     May these days of glory remind us of the depth of God's love and the call to holiness that is reserved, not just for the few, but rather for us all.  Happy All Hallows Eve and happy All Hallows Day tomorrow.

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