The Gospel for Sunday, the Solemnity of All Saints, is likely to be a very familiar one – the Beatitudes as presented in Matthew’s Gospel.
Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:
‘How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’
The standards of life that belong to the kingdom are simple and clear.
How much more challenging they are to live to.
How rare it is, that these are the values to which the media draws our attention.
These are the values that unite. It seems to make better headlines when they can write and speak about things which divide.
These are the values that foster happy, blessed, life. Those other values hobble us, constrain us, and threaten to suffocate us.
- How does life in your parish help you to live by the values of the kingdom?
- How do you help others to live by the values of the kingdom?
- What else help you yourself to faithful living?
Bring your reflections to God in prayer.
Sculpted figures of the Preaching of the Beatitudes, Domus Galilei, Galilee. Photograph (c) 2012, Allen Morris.