Solemnity of All Saints
Our world today proclaims happy those who live according to its standards:
- Convenient is life for those who are materially rich, famous and powerful, because the earth is theirs.
- Happy are those who plunder the riches of the land and the sea, for they will be well-off at the expense of many.
- Happy are those who are angry, short-tempered and overbearing, for they will subjugate the weak and the gentle of heart.
- Happy are they who laugh at others’ weaknesses and are praised by people, for they will have their paradise here on earth and need not be comforted.
- Happy are those who are proud, for they will have much of themselves and reap the fruits of conceit and self-absorption.
- Happy are those who have no mercy, because they act as arrogant kings and they do not need mercy.
- Happy are they who work for war and manufacture weapons to kill their fellow men, for they shall be called children of the god of war.
- Convenient is life for those who submit to and perform abortion, for they shall be rulers of their bodies because they can eliminate the unwanted.
- Convenient is life for those who escape justice through influence and bribes, for they will rule in this life and live as kings. (Author unknown).
But in Psalm 37, God has this to say to the faithful and obedient: “Be still before the LORD; wait for God. Do not be provoked by the prosperous, nor by malicious schemers. Give up your anger…. it brings only harm. Those who do evil will be cut off…. But the poor will possess the land, will delight in great prosperity…. Better the poverty of the just than the great wealth of the wicked…. The jus t always lend generously, and their children become a blessing…. Turn from evil and do good, that you may inhabit the land forever…. The mouths of the just utter wisdom; their tongues speak what is right. God’s teaching is in their hearts; their steps do not falter. . . But all sinners will be destroyed…. The salvation of the just is from the LORD…. The LORD helps and rescues them, rescues and saves them from the wicked, because in God they take refuge” (7ff).
To understand and to live the beatitudes we will have to look into ourselves and in what we can do for the people of God:
- Spend time in silence, prayer and reflection at home, in Church or wherever you can. In silence you gain wisdom.
- Respond to and obey the teachings of the Church. She is the defender of human beings who seek the Almighty.
- Be faithful to your responsibilities and lawful relationship. They are your way to holiness.
- Be aware of the needs of others and respond to them, especially to the poor. They are your key to heaven.
- Defend the culture of life. Don’t stifle the power of God in life.
- Learn humility and love of neighbor. We are all children of the same Father and redeemed by the same Lord Jesus.
- Avoid unnecessary judgment of others. If you have nothing good to say about others, shut up.
- Keep your temper in control. Uncontrolled temper only leads to evil.
- Preserve purity of thought and action. Always be aware of the presence of God in all that you do wherever you are.
St. Clement, the Pope, wrote to the Corinthians: “ Let us reverence the Lord Jesus, whose blood was shed for us. Let us respect those in authority, let us honor the presbyters. Let us train the young in the fear of God. (Let us) lead (our) wives toward all that is good. Let them show by their conduct that they are lovers of chastity; by their gentleness let them reveal a pure and sincere disposition; by their silence let them manifest the control they have over their tongues; let them bestow an equal charity, without respect for persons, on all who have a holy fear of God.
Your children must share in the way of discipleship in Christ. They must learn how effective humility is before God, what chaste love can accomplish with God, how good and noble is the fear of God, for it brings salvation to all who possess it and who live holy lives with a pure heart.”
The Book of Revelation tells us of God’s servants on whose foreheads the seal of God is imprinted. They wear white robes washed in the blood of the Lamb and have been saved by the work of Christ. Let us celebrate this Eucharist in confidence, saved by the work of Christ and sealed with His blood, and renew our trust in Him who humbled Himself to be like us and to be with us. With all the Saints in Heaven, let us offer ourselves, all that we are, all that we have and all that we do, as sacrifice to Him, so that we will be among those He calls “blessed.”