by Bob Wickizer

Who Are the Saints?
Bob Wickizer
Amos 5:18-24; Joshua 24:1-3a,14-25; Psalm 78:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13
November 6, 2005

Many of us harbor secret wishes and I want to share one of mine with you. I wish I were good enough on the trumpet to play in a New Orleans Dixieland jazz band. This wish is significant as we celebrate All Saints Day.

This week we also celebrate the life of Rosa Parks, grandmother of the civil rights movement. This woman of modest means was tired after a day of work and she was tired of being robbed of her dignity just in riding home on the bus. One day she refused to yield her seat to a white man and that one simple act of defiance changed the course of history.

Rosa Parks is a national hero and a saint I am sure. But I wonder if looking down from heaven whether she felt honored to have her body taken to the nation's capital or whether she felt saddened to see so many people shackled by the same oppression she experienced fifty years ago.

Halfway around the world another woman prepared to board a plane out of Pakistan this week. Voted ABC News "woman of the week" in October and Glamour magazine's "woman of the year," Mukhtar Mai also changed history by standing up to oppression and persisting in her quest for justice.

Her story is too gruesome to tell here but when part of the court settlement included the Pakistani government's offer of a small fortune and a free house in the cosmopolitan city of Islamabad where no one would know anything about the sexual violence committed against her, she declined to move. Instead she had the government use the money to build two schools for women in her remote rural village. Her goal is to empower young women through education

Rosa Parks and Mukhtar Mai are certainly high profile saints. We all need those pioneers who set examples for us and who literally encourage us. But what about all the names of the people we will read in our remembrance today and wh ...

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