All Saints is the day we remember the great saints through history, I wonder how many can you name? Quite a few I dare say, but what about Saint Joan, who introduced me personally to Jesus by the way she lived her life – and the Christian values she demonstrates even today? Or Saint Anne-Julian, a nun who showed me what it is to be filled by The Spirit and led me to give my life to the Lord? Or how about Saint Peter, Bishop of Taunton, who picked me up and helped me through a particularly bad patch in my ministry? Many unsung heroes drift in and out of our lives. People I’d definitely call saints, even if they’re never officially recognised by the Church, people who helped set us on our way, and keep and guided us along that way. By “the way” I mean of course the way Jesus commanded us to live (and it’s worth reminding ourselves every now and again that it was a commandment, not just a friendly word of advice!)
So what was that commandment again? To love one another as He loves us. How much does He love us? The answer is in today’s gospel… “Jesus wept” (Jn 11:35). It’s the shortest verse in the bible and yet no two words better sum up just how much He loves us, deeply, passionately, and intimately. Jesus calls us to weep for the world and for the people around us, but more, He wants us – commands us – to turn our tears into action, just as He did with Lazarus.
Rev Geoff Eales