Monday, November 1, 2010

Daily - 11/1/10

Matthew 5: 1 - 12

1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.

2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.


This year, the feast of All Saints means more to me than it ever has before. Finally, this year, I've gotten it through my thick skull that God wants ALL of us to be saints -- not just a chosen few. He's also clearly given us the path to sainthood in the Scriptures, and in the writings of those who have gone before us.

I found a daily devotional online that says it much better than I could. This is written by Father Burke Masters of Joliet, IL.


Today, the Church celebrates the great feast of All Saints Day. This feast dates back to the 4th century in the early Church. It is a celebration of all the saints who share the heavenly banquet with the Lord. The Church has named saints like Peter and Paul and Theresa, but today we remember EVERYONE who is in heaven. This may include all of our loved ones who have gone before us in faith. It is a celebration of all who participate in the joy of heaven, contemplating the face of Jesus for all eternity. There is joy without end and all tears are turned into joy.

Some say the Beatitudes are a “Job Description” for the saints to get to heaven. But Jesus is using the present tense here, “Blessed are you…”; not “Blessed will you be…” In other words, I think that Jesus is giving us a way to find peace and joy and blessedness right here on earth AND in heaven. And if we look at these Beatitudes closely, Jesus is the incarnation of all of them.

Jesus is poor in spirit, meek, merciful, a peacemaker, pure of heart, etc. Our job, if you will, is to conform our lives to Christ and become more like Him. The more we become like Him in this life, we will experience the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. And WE ARE ALL CALLED TO BE SAINTS! Jesus wants us all to be saved and live with Him for all eternity. Sainthood is not reserved just for the chosen few, but it is the universal call for everyone.

Some say that Jesus is encouraging a very passive lifestyle in the Beatitudes; that this type of Christian is not attractive to modern readers. I beg to differ. In order to become this person, we must be very active in our world – working for peace, offering mercy, preaching the word, taking an active role in people’s lives.

Take time today to reflect on these Beatitudes. We need look no further than here to have a summary of the person of Jesus Christ. Am I a person who follows these Beatitudes? Am I building up treasure in heaven, or do I seek the pleasures of the earth? Am I trying to conform my life to that of Christ?

If we look at the opposite of these Beatitudes, we see what Jesus does NOT want from us – pride, afraid to mourn, sinful, lack of mercy, warmakers, people-pleasers, etc.

On this great feast of All Saints Day, may we be a people who rejoice in life and take an active role in building up the Kingdom of God on earth. If we do this, we can experience a peace and joy similar (but still falling short) of the joy and peace that the saints are experiencing in heaven right now and always. One day, God willing, our joy will become complete as we see the Lord face to face.