CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on November 1, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 5:1-12a

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: We celebrate today the Solemnity of All the Saints. The gospel we read today is Matthew’s account of the Beatitudes. It describes a variety of dispositions and characteristics that constitute the nature of people who give themselves to Jesus’ way of life.

The gospel reading outlines parallels between Jesus and Moses. Like Moses, Jesus leaves the people to go up to a mountain, and then he starts to teach them. Moses gave his people 10 Commandments from God, but Jesus gives the Beatitudes. Certainly, Moses’s commandments still have force in our lives, but in some ways, what Moses asked of us through the commandments is pretty easy: in many cases, all we have to do is not do this thing or that thing. What we hear in the gospel today is about forming attitudes toward life that represent a fundamental break with the way that we usually think, feel, and act in the world.

We are blessed when we are poor in spirit: that is, God blesses us both in when we are materially poor and when we are broken internally. We are blessed when we mourn: God blesses us both because we have hearts open to being broken, and we are blessed because we live in communities where there are people to console us when we ache. We are blessed when we are gentle: God blesses us when we consistently act courteously and with kindness. We are blessed when we hunger and thirst for righteousness: God blesses us when we have hearts that fiercely commit to justice. We are blessed when we are the merciful: God blesses us when we show mercy to others. We are blessed when we are pure of heart: God blesses us when we desire God and God alone. We are blessed when we are peacemakers: God blesses us when we smooth divisions and promote harmony both among people and between people and nature. We are blessed when we are persecuted for the sake of righteousness: that is, when we stand up fearlessly to evil, God blesses us. We are blessed when we are insulted and persecuted because we follow Jesus: it is in our witness to Jesus that we testify to the truth we have found.

So these are the things that Jesus calls us to: poverty, vulnerability, gentleness, justice, mercy, dedication, harmony, conviction, and witness. These are the qualities of Jesus’ followers, and they constitute the characteristics of the women and men whom we celebrate as saints.

Saint of the day: November 1, instituted to honor all the saints, known and unknown. It owes its origin in the Western Church to the dedication of the Pantheon in honor of the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs in 609, the anniversary of which was celebrated at Rome, May 13. Pope Saint Gregory III, bishop of Rome between 731 and 741, consecrated a chapel in the Vatican basilica in honor of All Saints, designating November 1 as their feast; a successor extended its observance to the whole Church.

Spiritual reading: God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners. (Soren Kierkegaard)

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