All Saints’ Sunday

By: New Word Writing

Palabra de Hoy
Palabra de Hoy

November 1, 2020

Solemnity of All Saints, who are with Christ in glory. In the unique joy of this feast, the Holy Church, still pilgrim on earth, celebrates the memory of those whose company rejoices in the heavens, thus receiving the encouragement of her example, the joy of her patronage and, one day, the crown of triumph in the eternal vision of the divine Majesty.

“Blessed are you. because his reward will be great in heaven.”

 

Readings

First Reading

Reading the book of Revelation 7, 2-4. 9-14

I, John, saw another angel climbing from the east bearing the seal of the living God. He shouted in a powerful voice at the four angels charged with harming the earth and the sea by telling them:
“Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the servants of our God on our foreheads.”
I also heard the number of seals, one hundred and forty-four thousand, of all the tribes of Israel.
After this I saw an immense crowd, which no one could count, of all nations, races, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes and palms on his hands. And they scream in a powerful voice:
“Victory is of our God, who sits on the throne, and of the Lamb!”
And all the angels who stood round the throne and the elders and the four living fell face to earth before the throne, and worshipped God, saying:
“Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength are of our God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
And one of the elders said to me:
“These who are dressed in white robes, who are they and where have they come from?”
I said:
“My Lord, you will know.”
He said:
“These are those who come from the great tribulation: they have washed and bleached their garments in the blood of the Lamb.”

Psalm

Come out 23, 1-2. 3-4ab. 5-6

R/. This is the generation that seeks your face, Lord.

From the Lord is the earth and all that fills it, the orb and all its inhabitants:
he founded it over the seas, he sharpened it over the rivers. R/.
Who can climb the Mount of the Lord? Who can be in the sacred enclosure?
The man with innocent hands and pure heart, who does not trust idols. R/.

He will receive the blessing of the Lord, the God of salvation will do him justice.
This is the group that seeks the Lord, who seeks your face, God of Jacob. R/.

Second Reading

Reading the Apostle John’s first letter 3, 1-3

Dear Brothers:
Look what love the Father has had for us to call us children of God, for we are! The world doesn’t know us because it didn’t know him.
Dear, we are now children of God and what we will be has not yet been manifested. We know that when he manifests himself, we will be like him, because we will see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, as he is pure.

 

Gospel

Reading the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 5, 1-12a

At that time, when Jesus saw the crowd, he climbed the mountain, sat down, and his disciples approached; and, opening their mouths, he taught them by saying:
“Blessed are the poor in the spirit, for of them is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will attain mercy.
Blessed are the cleansed of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are those who work for peace, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those persecuted because of righteousness, for of them is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when you are insulted and persecuted and slandered in any way for my sake. Rejoice and rejoice, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Comment

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of All Saints. Today we look to heaven to thank God, praise Him, glorify Him, bless Him for the immense multitude of his children who are already in his presence for all eternity enjoying full life with Him. They are the saints whose names only God knows, who have not been beatified or canonized in the Church, but who in their lives have identified with Christ and now enjoy in heaven forever. They are the men and women who were signered with the cross of Christ, who washed their lives in the blood of the slit lamb, immense crowd, that no one could count, of all nations, races, peoples and tongues. They are people like each of us, who made their lives a faithful reflection of God’s holiness; men and women we even knew and treated in our own families, among our friends and neighbors, in our parishes and communities.

Perhaps for this reason this feast is so close and linked to that of the deceased faithful, even if they are different and have different meanings. We visit the cemeteries, to remind you, to honor your memory with our flowers and prayers, to pray for your eternal rest, in the hope that you will enjoy eternal life with God. We pray for them; and we also pray to them that if they are already in the presence of the Father, they may be our first intercessors and protectors.

The Solemnity of All Saints leads us first to look at god’s holiness. Only He is Holy, the Holy Among all saints, the three times holy. God’s holiness is his own natural being, it is his life in the intimacy of the Trinity; it is not only moral purity, it is infinitely superior, it is his goodness and his mercy, his justice and truth, it is the set of attributes with which we can humanly speak of Him. Whom we have known through Jesus Christ, Son of God made man.

Secondly, it invites us to remember that we are all called to holiness. Because He is Holy, and we have been created in His image and likeness, so He calls us all to be holy, to be reflections of His glory, the splendor of God’s truth.

This call to holiness may seem to us to be overnight and out of the current language, especially in most people of our time; perhaps replaceable, in the Christian sphere, at least in part, by the parameters of commitment, dedication, sacrifice, evangelical life. And this is because we have understood or misunderstood holiness as something idyllic and utopian, as unrealizable moral purity in the common of mortals, something that occurs only in a small elite of people or Christians.

However, the call to holiness remains current for each and every one of us. God calls us all to be holy as He is Holy. It was the invitation of Jesus at the end of the Sermon on the Mount whose principle today’s Gospel, the Gospel of The Beatitudes, offers us. But what is holiness?

Just over two years ago, Pope Francis offered us a beautiful text to think about, an apostolic exhortation “on the call to holiness in today’s world” entitled Gaudete et exsultate, that is, “rejoice and rejoice”, invitation of Jesus at the end of today’s Gospel. Pope Francis says: “There can be many theories about what holiness is, abundant explanations and distinctions. but nothing is more enlightening than going back to the words of Jesus. Jesus explained simply what it is to be holy, and He did so when He left us the beatitudes. They are like the Identity Card of the Christian… how do you become a good Christian? The answer is simple: it is necessary to do, each in his own way, what Jesus says in the sermon of the Beatitudes. In them is drawn the face of the Master, who we are called to transparent in the daily life of our lives. The word ‘happy’ or ‘blessed’ becomes synonymous with ‘holy’, because it expresses that the person who is faithful to God and lives his Word attains, in self-giving, true bliss” (GE 63-64).

It is worth reading or rereading this exhortation of Pope Francis today, the day of All Saints, in which he begins by telling us: “The Lord asks for everything, and what he offers is true life, the happiness for which we were created. He loves us saints and does not expect us to settle for a mediocre, watery, liquefied existence” (GE 1). It also says: “Every saint is a mission; it is a father’s project to reflect and embody, at a certain point in history, an aspect of the Gospel” (GE 19). Each of us might wonder today, in particular, what my mission is in the world, what aspect of christ’s gospel I am reflecting or incarnating. God’s great project for all, encompassing each other’s vocation, is that we be children in the Son and brethren of one another, and that we treat and love each other as such. “Don’t be afraid of holiness. It won’t take away your strength, life or joy. On the contrary, because you will become what the Father thought when He created you and you will be faithful to your own being” (EG 32), the Holy Father tells us.

Pope Francis also speaks to us of the saints next door, of the Saints who encourage and accompany us, “among them may be our own mother, grandmother, or other close people. Perhaps his life was not always perfect, but even in the midst of imperfections and falls they went ahead and pleased the Lord. The saints who have already come to God’s presence maintain with us bonds of love and communion” (GE 3-4). They make holiness believable and possible in each of us.

Today we will also repeat as every Sunday in the proclamation of the Creed: “I believe in the communion of the saints”. It is the communion that unersies us in love with all those who have preceded us with the sign of faith and already sleep the dream of peace, in the joy of God’s presence. It reminds us of our own vocation, to which we are all called, to be holy, as God is Holy, because God is Holy. Let us live in the joy and freedom of God’s children; and in the hope that what we will be has not yet been manifested. Like St John, we know that when he manifests himself, we will be like him, because we will see him as he is.

 

Prayer

Glory and praise to you, the three times Holy, God and Lord of the universe.

Thank you Father, for calling us children of God, your children.

Thank you for your father’s love.

Thank you because you were not content to give us being like the rest of the creatures, but you created us in your image and likeness, and called us to share your own divine life.

Glory and praise to you, the three times Holy, God and Lord of the universe.

Thank you for not staying in the silence of eternity, but you broke into time and became a man like us through your Son, to let us know that we are your children.

Thank you for coming to heal our wounds, to cleanse our miseries, to save us from sin and death.

Glory and praise to you, the three times Holy, God and Lord of the universe.

Thank you for freely filling us with life and holiness when we open ourselves to you.

Thank you for your immense kindness and mercy to each of us.

Thank you for the immense multitude of saints, men and women signed with the cross of your Son Jesus, who bring together the history and life of the Church, who are examples of Christian life for us and our intercessors in your presence.

Glory and praise to you, the three times Holy, God and Lord of the universe.

In these times of tribulation, grant us to continue to wash our lives in the blood of the Lamb, to continue to wait and believe in you, to continue to see you in the poor, in the meek, in which weeps, in which he is hungry and thirsty, in the merciful, in the clean of heart, in which he works for peace, in the persecuted, in the insulted , in the slander. Grant us to rejoice and rejoice when any of these crosses mark our faces and lives.

Glory and praise to you, the three times Holy, God and Lord of the universe.

Thank you for the Saints who encourage and accompany us on the path of life, who are close without being noticed, for the saints next door, for the signs of holiness in God’s patient people that beautify the face of your Church, and also outside it, who encourage us every day to live fulfilling your will.

We want to be holy. Help us, show us, come with us, fill us with You.

Glory and praise to you, the three times Holy, God and Lord of the universe.

Amen.

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