All Saints - Solemnity Saint Ambrose : "I had a vision of a great mulititude... from every nation, race, people and tongue... standing before the throne" (Rev 7,9) Book of Revelation 7:2-4.9-14. I, John, saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, "Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites: After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb." All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed: "Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen." Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, "Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?" I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows." He said to me, "These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Commentary of the day : Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church Concerning the advantages of death "I had a vision of a great mulititude... from every nation, race, people and tongue... standing before the throne" (Rev 7,9) Made strong by the teachings [of Scripture] let us go forward without trembling towards our redeemer, Jesus, towards the assembly of the patriarchs; let us set out towards our father, Abraham, when that day comes. Let us go forward without trembling to the congregation of the saints, to that great concourse of the just. We will be going to our fathers: those who taught us the faith. Even if we lack works, may our faith help us; let us defend our inheritance! We will be going to that region where Abraham opens his bosom to those who are poor like Lazarus (Lk 16,19f.). There repose all those who bore the hard knocks of life in this world. Now, Father, stretch out your hands again and again to welcome these poor ones, open wide your arms, make space in your breast to receive yet more, for those who believed in God are many indeed... We are going to the paradise of joy where Adam, who formerly fell into a robbers' ambush, no longer gives thought to weeping over his wounds and where the robber himself rejoices in his share in the heavenly Kingdom (cf. Lk 10,30; 23,43). There where no cloud, no tempest, no lightening, no hurricane, no darkness, no dusk, no summer nor winter mark the uncertainty of the weather; neither cold nor hail nor rain. Our poor, feeble sun, the moon and stars no longer have any more use. God's brightness alone will shine out for God will be the light of all things, that true light who enlightens everyone will shine forth for all (Rev 22,5; Jn 1,9). We will go there where the Lord Jesus has prepared dwelling places for his insignificant servants so that where he is, we may be too (Jn 14,2-3)... “Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory” (Jn 17,24)... We are following you, Lord Jesus; but that it may be so, call us, since no one rises up without you. You are the way, the truth, the life (Jn 14,6), the possibility, the faith, the reward. Receive us; strengthen us; grant us life!