November 1, 2014
Saturday 30th Week in Ordinary Time
[Solemnity, All Saints Day]
Rv 7: 2-4, 9-14 / Ps 24: 1b-2, 3-4ab, 5-6 / 1 Jn 3: 1-3 / Mt 5:1-12a
Reading: Rv 7: 2-4, 9-14
I saw another angel ascending from the sunrise, carrying the seal of the living God, and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels empowered to harm the earth and the sea, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads." Then I heard the number of those marked with the seal: a hundred and forty-four thousand from all the tribes of the people of Israel: After this I saw a great crowd, impossible to count, from every nation, race, people and tongue, standing before the throne and the Lamb, clothed in white, with palm branches in their hands, and they cried out with a loud voice, "Who saves but our God who sits on the throne and the Lamb?" All the angels were around the throne, the elders and the four living creatures; they then bowed before the throne with their faces to the ground to worship God. They said, Amen. Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen! At that moment, one of the elders spoke up and said to me, "Who are these people clothed in white, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, it is you who know this." The elder replied, "They are those who have come out of the great persecution; they have washed and made their clothes white in the blood of the Lamb.
Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12a
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. He sat down and his disciples gathered around him. Then he spoke and began to teach them: Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are those who mourn, they shall be comforted. Fortunate are the gentle, they shall possess the land. Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied. Fortunate are the merciful, for they shall find mercy. Fortunate are those with a pure heart, for they shall see God. Fortunate are those who work for peace, they shall be called children of God. Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God. This is how this people persecuted the prophets who lived before you.
"Jesus . . . went up the mountain(Mt. 1: 1)."
Biblically, the "mountain" in the Old Testament is the place of encounter between the human person and God. The revelation of God's personal name, "I Am Who I Am," through the Burning Bush was given to Moses in Mt. Sinai (cf. Ex. 3: 14). Matthew picks up the "mountain" motif from the Old Testament for his narrative on Jesus giving his teaching on the Beatitudes to the multitude of disciples. Our gospel reading is also a revelation narrative of God through His Son. Jesus is the perfection of God's revelation. Jesus is the fufillment of the promised Messiah for His people. The Old Testament and New Testament find their summation in Jesus Christ in the words and deeds of Jesus Christ which culminate in his Pashcal Mystery - Passion, Death and Resurrection.
The Beatitudes are truths about the Kingdomof God which is already in our midst; yet we await its completion at the end of times. God's Kingdom is not a socio-geo-political entity but it is Christ himself present in our midst through the Holy Spirit whom he has sent to us at Pentecost. And the Spirit is discernible in our faith-life through the disposition and orientation of our hearts attuned to the Heart of Christ. God's Kingdom takes root and bears fruit in our hearts as we live-out the gospel values such as those in the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes challenge us to make choices from the interiority of our hearts right here, right now to make God's Kingdom palpable in our present life in anticipation of that which will come for us in its perfection.
"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God (Mt. 5: 8; NRSV)." A pure heart gazes on the Heart of God through His Son. It desires to beat as one with the Heart of Jesus. It sees everyone and everything of creation through the Heart of Jesus. With pure hearts, we recognize and see God within us, before us and all over us.
Nowadays, it is a struggle to be single-hearted for God alone. Our complex world constantly and persistently presents us with a cacophony of choices that promises happiness and contentment in our lives. Yet, we end up turning our hearts for more options only to realize that they leave us with a nagging hollowness in our hearts.
Today, let us take a moment to keep still in our sacred spaces to pray and reflect over our hearts' deepest longings.We clear our hearts from the mutiple layers of trappings that have brought us away from our hearts' desires. We descend into the depths of our hearts to meet God who patiently waits for us to return to His Heart. He alone can satisfy our life's deepest hunger. However, this remains a choice for us. God gives us a choice either to live in the peripherals of our hearts or at its central core where He lives within us.
Let our hearts choose You, Lord, as choices present themselves to us today.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for personal intentions - Pauline Kahn
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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