Message 0082 – October 29, 2020
October 30, 2020
Matthew 25:31-46 – All Souls Day
October 31, 2020

Matthew 5:1-12 – All Saints Day

All Saints Day – November 1
Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14
1 John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12

A. Text/Context
• One of the most beautiful sermons that Jesus gave is the Sermon of the Mount or the Beatitudes
• The one that we heard just a few moments back. The Beatitudes in the gospel of Matthew was written in order to serve the needs of his present community
• That is why there is a modification from that of the gospel of Mark, Blessed are the poor – blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are the hungry – blessed are those who hunger for holiness
• The literal meaning of beatitudes is blessedness or happiness
• Why is it that the Beatitudes is a beautiful sermon?Or: How does the Beatitudes become the way to blessedness or happiness?
• Is it a blessing to be poor? When you have nothing to eat and you feel the pangs of hunger and starvation?
• Is it a blessing to be persecuted and the wheels of justice are never on your side?
• If we will not analyze carefully, the meaning of the sermon is the exact opposite. This is the irony of the Beatitudes
• Being poor and hungry would be a curse instead of a blessing. Of course in real life, hunger and poverty is really a curse not a blessing
• The message of the beatitudes is that the blessedness of poverty or hunger comes afterwards
• The Beatitudes is actually a message of hope because the KOG gives priority to the poor because they have very little in lifeor nothing at all in this world
• We must be cautious in understanding the Beatitudes. God does not want us to suffer, to be hungry, to be poor or to be persecuted. The call of God to everyone is that God wants us all to be happy
• The meaning of the blessedness here is the hope of a reward to inherit heaven. The materially poor and the spiritually poor will all inherit heaven
• The materially poor are those who have very little material possessions. The spiritually poor are the rich and the poor alike who only rely on the goodness of God
• And who are they? They are all the saints still living here on earth, the people who lead good lives and the saints who share the happiness of God in heaven
• This is the communion of saints that we will pray later in the Apostles’ Creed
• This is the communion of the TRIUMPHANT church in heaven, the MILITANT and struggling church on earth, and the SUFFERING church in purgatory
• Now we understand why after All Saints Day the next day will be All Souls Day because they are interrelated
• The communion of saints is an exchange of graces between the individuals here on earth and the saints in heaven as well as the holy souls in purgatory
• We invoke the intercession of the saints in heaven and the holy souls in purgatory and they are praying for us and so we have a beautiful communion of saints

B. Human Situation
• In our life as Christians and especially as Catholics we firmly believe in the intercession of the saints we have devotion to them through prayers and novenas invoking their intercession
• And especially we have novena prayers to the Most Holy Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary
• The BVM is the highest among all the saints in heaven and she is given a special privilege by God to intercede for us because she has earned that special privilege as the mother of Jesus. Mary is the Queen of all saints
• In this celebration of All Saints Day we are reminded that as Catholics, we do not, for emphasis, we do not worship the Virgin Mary and the saints
• Some religions criticize us that we worship the BVM. We do not, because Mary is not a God nor are the saints but we venerate them, we honor them, we ask intercession from them
• The very reason that we ask intercession from Mary and the saints is because Mary and the holy saints are favored by God because of their holiness. This must be clear for all Catholics
• Isn’t it that St. Paul is the Great Apostle of the Gentiles? And he is already a very holy man, yet in his missionary journeys he would ask for prayers
• This is the communion of saints that we are talking about, praying for one another, interceding for one another
• St. Francis of Assisi is also a very holy man, yet, he would ask his brothers to go to St. Clare and ask her; to preach to the public or to pray alone in solitude
• Why is it like that? Is it not sufficient just to be holy and alone and independent?
• It is not yet sufficient because the Church is a fellowship, the Church is a community and if it is a community we do not exist alone
• Our church is a communion of saints, we are one big family, praying together, helping one another, interceding for one another

C. Challenge
• Today, on this feast of All the Saints, we are reminded of the gathering of the holy and the blessed ones
• God gathers all the holy people, in heaven, on earth, in purgatory to be one in praising and glorifying Him
• That is why in the 1st reading in the Book of Revelation it tells us of the gathering of the holy angels
• And also in the 2nd reading in the 1st letter of John there is also a gathering of the children of God
• The mass that we celebrate right now is a gathering as God’s children
• We are reminded that as one big family, gathering together is a very important aspect of our faith because it is a communion
• We are also reminded that as one community, we need to pray for all the members, because we are a fellowship, the exchange of prayers
• We can just imagine tens or hundreds or thousands of people praying for your intention! Miracles can really happen
• It is very pleasing in the eyes of God that all the holy people all the blessed in the beatitudes will praise, glorify, thank, adore and worship God and ask Him of what we need
• And lest we forget, again, in the practice of the Christian faith, we do not exist alone, there is always communion

 

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