Gospel Reflection for All Saints Day Year A – November 1st 2014
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
A child was once asked for a definition of a saint. She said ‘a stained glass window’! Asked why, she answered, ‘The different colours let in the light and every saint is a different colour of God. ‘Every one of our unknown saints coloured God in a new way in his or her corner of the globe. On All Saints Day we are grateful for the lives of so many people of every age, church and century who have lived their lives as best they could within the vision and spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Some of these people are well known and canonised, each portraying strongly some aspect of Jesus and the gospel. Today also recalls the millions of unknown saints. These are the people of our families, neighbourhoods and communities who lived lives faithful to the love of God and the gospel. They inspire us by their example.
Saints are not for our imitation. None of us can be holy except in our own way and according to our own personality. But holy people inspire us to live our own christian life. We know the limitations also of the anonymous holy people, and are inspired by how our family and community ‘saints’ grew in the love of God within their ordinary human weaknesses.
A Grateful Day
The feast today is a grateful feast. The millions of people were remember are like the unknown soldiers whose tomb is in many European cities, commemorating the ones who died and whose bodies were never found and whose names may be forgotten. Maybe every church should have a shrine to the unknown saint, representing the people whom we remember today.
For you saints, O Lord with you in glory we give thanks; for the inspiration they are to our lives we give thanks; that we may live in the light of your love as they did, we pray, Lord God.
Donal Neary SJ