Revelations 7: 2-4, 9-14 “…‘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.’….”
Psalm 24: 1bc-2, 3-4ab, 5-6 “…Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? Or who may stand in his holy place? One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain….”
1 John 3: 1-3 “…‘Beloved we are God’s children now.’ ….”
Mathew 5: 1-12a “…‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.’…”
Feast of All Saints - Today we honor all those Holy Men and Women, both recognized by the Church and not; whose lives were illuminated by the light of the Gospel. We realize that through their saying yes to the Lord’s call to “Come follow Me” our faith was carried forward to this generation. Our ancestors were inspired by reading their lives, or by knowing them in person. May we answer the Lord’s call to be Holy, both for our own sake and for the sake of future generations. And finally, as we near the November 4th elections in the US, may we call upon our Family of Saints in heaven to carry our prayers to Jesus on our behalf. As the Lord spoke of in the Gospels, we pray for a servant leader’s heart in all those running for office. May the Lord look kindly on us, and help us to choose such a team…Amen.
All of today’s readings speak of those who’ve become Saints and invite us to reach our full potential as children of God. We were made for heaven, and are all called to be saints. The first reading in Revelations speaks of seeing in a vision the saints in heaven. The Psalm proclaims that only those whose heart is clean and desires not what is vain can ascend the holy mountain of the Lord. The second reading in 1 John reminds us how much we are loved, to be called the children of God. And because we know Jesus, we have a model for which to follow. To strive to be pure like He is even though the world may cast us aside, for they did not know Him either. And finally the Gospel of Matthew gives us the how-to blueprints as we are reminded how to treat others if we want to be with Jesus in heaven.
While on retreat recently, I was reminded that there are many people who’ve lived chaste and saintly lives, even though they were not canonized by the Church. And yet how many times did you say to yourself, well not many people become saints? But really if you bother to look, there have been countless others who consistently provided encouragement to others on the spiritual journey and yes, lived saintly lives. Maybe you know such a person in your own lifetime. On that same retreat we heard the call to change the direction in which we seek happiness, a definition of repenting. As we feel our nation, and in fact the whole world, struggle with the effects of today’s economy, now seems like a really good time to make that course correction - to get back to basics and seek out the Lord. Jesus gave us the blueprint for co-existence in the Beatitudes, found in today’s Gospel. Contemplate over this list by reading and rereading His words, letting them soak in at a deep level. Which one calls out to you? Then maybe someday we, too, will be counted among those in Heaven as we found in our reading in Revelations 7:13-14: “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.” A little sacrifice is good for the soul.
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