We are coming up on the Solemnity of All Saints, which falls this year on Sunday. This is one of my favorite feasts. Although the month of November is not formally a liturgical season, it does have the feel of one. It begins with All Saints and ends with Christ the King, and its common in Catholic piety to meditate during this month on the Last Things: Heaven, Hell, Death, and Judgment. So consider November to be the unofficial liturgical season dedicated to the Last Things.
1. The First Reading is 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 children of Israel.