Thursday, October 29, 2015

Solemnity of All Saints Year B

Readings: Revelations: 7:2-4, 9-14; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12

Ordinary people with extraordinary mission sums up best the message of this Sunday - the Solemnity of All Saints that we celebrate this Sunday.  The purpose of this Feast is to give those on earth signs of hope as described by John Wood in his book Ordinary Lives Extraordinary Mission. These signs of hope inspire us and pray for us as we too try to pursue our extraordinary mission to be like them. Saints are not born but made over years of being shaped by God’s grace, doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way. This Feast makes us aware that we are all called to holiness and to sainthood.  Every age, race, language, people and nation have produced saints, holy men and women who pleased God and now share in God’s glory. The First Reading speaks of “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation, race, peoples and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, ‘Salvation from our God who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb!” These are the people who suffered for Christ and “who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” It is the blood of Jesus Christ that brings salvation but only to those who have united with him in sharing its effects. Many of them, of course, are martyrs and they have mingled their own blood with that of Jesus. These are the saints we remember today; the men and women who have won their fight with the enemy within and accomplished an extraordinary mission in their victory in Christ.

The Gospel on the Beatitudes offers, as it were, a charter for holiness for the followers of Christ. The Beatitudes focus on the values of the kingdom as against the values of the world. Jesus rejects what is held in high esteem by the world.  The Beatitudes are a kind of a mission statement on our call to holiness; our call to be the best version of ourselves. Blessed are the poor in spirit; those who have only God as their fulfillment in every need.  Blessed are the gentle: the people who humble themselves considering others first, constantly aware of the needs of others.  Blessed are those who mourn: those in grief or in sorrow for their sins and for the time wasted through sin; they will be assured of comfort. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for what is right, they will be satisfied, not by worldly material things, but by God’s word of life. So what message do we take home? 1) The feast of all the saints reminds us that we are all called to holiness and to sainthood; 2) You and I can become saints, if we too live the Beatitudes as our charter of holiness; 3) May we be encouraged by the many examples of the saints in heaven to walk this holy highway, the path they walked that someday we too may triumph and be counted among the saints. I am Msgr. John Mbinda. God bless you.
©2015 John S. Mbinda

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