SALVATION BELONGS TO OUR GOD, AND TO THE LAMB
(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of ALL SAINTS, 1 November 2021)
First Reading: Revelation 7:2-4,9-14
Psalms: Psalm 24:1-6; Second Reading: 1John 3:1-3; Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
The Scripture Text
Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures, and they felt on their faces before the throne and worshiped God for ever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”(Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14 RSV)
“Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10)
If we were to remember one thing about ALL SAINTS DAY, it should be this: The women and men we honor today take no credit for their triumph. They know that salvation is God’s work. They know that they are standing before the throne of God only because they trusted in and held fast to His promises and His power during times of hardship, persecution, and temptation. The mark on their foreheads is a constant testimony to Jesus, who empowered them to remain faithful.
You will not find most of these spiritual victors on any official list. This is a celebration of the countless saints in heaven whose faith and works are known only to God and perhaps a few other people. And this is this is their message to us. Their hiddenness shows that we too can be saints, if only we hold tenaciously to the truth that “salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10).
Every day, we face decisions about whom we will trust, believe in, and obey. Every day, we are called to lift our hearts to the Holy Spirit and let Him strengthen and transform us. Even when we sin, our trust in God’s mercy can enable us to repent and stand firm, confident that we remain the beloved of God. Throughout our day, we can repeat the saints’ rallying cry, “Salvation belongs to God, and to the Lamb!” and know that the outcome of the battle is first and foremost God’s business.
On this great festival day, let the saints convince each and everyone of us that holiness is not meant just for a select few. Let them show us that all things are possible with God. What happens when everyday people are faithful to their call, take God at His word, and allow Him to work through them? They join all the other saints in joyful celebration around God’s throne.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to be faithful in running the race, to never turn back or grow weary. May I one day be counted among that joyful, heavenly multitude who praise and worship You forever. Amen.
Jakarta, 31 October 2021 [31st ORDINARY SUNDAY – YEAR B]
A Christian Pilgrim