Saturday, October 31, 2015
November 1, 2015 SUNDAY - ALL SAINTS
Rev 7:2 - 4, 9 –14 / 1 Jn 3:1 - 3 / Mt 5:1 - 12
First Reading: Rev 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.
Second Reading: 1 Jn 3:1 – 2
See what singular love the Father has for us: we are called children of God, and we really are. This is why the world does not know us, because it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children and what we shall be has not yet been shown. Yet when he appears in his glory, we know that we shall be like him, for then we shall see him as he is.
Gospel: Mt 5:1 - 12
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.
Today's Gospel reading is about the "The Beatitudes." The word "beatitude" means "blessedness" or "happiness." One can fairly ask, "Are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the gentle and those who hunger and thirst for justice happy? Are the merciful, those with a pure heart, the peacemakers and those persecuted for the sake of justice really blessed? Are those who are insulted, persecuted and slandered for the sake of the Gospel really happy?"
The answer to these questions is "No," if we define happiness according to the standards of the world. However, it is true that riches and wealth, fame and power cannot give true happiness for they are all fleeting; they come and go, just like our lives on earth. All worldly things will come to pass. We can take a closer look at the world's rich, powerful and famous. Are they as happy as they seem to be? Are they satisfied with what they have? And therefore not happy because they want more?
In the Beatitudes our Lord presents to us what real blessing is, where genuine happiness is to be found. Being blessed and truly happy can be only in, with and through God. The homeless and the poor, the sick and those in pain, prisoners and those deprived of liberty, those insulted and slandered – they can all be happy.
There are people who are happy and who feel blessed despite the lack of so many things which the world feels essential. A chaplain at a national prison spoke of visitors who wished to share their blessings by visiting or giving to prisoners and who, after time with the inmates, saw much happiness in the prisoners.
Being with God, knowing that one is doing what one has been created for is where real happiness lies. Acceptance of God is the essence of true happiness.
Many saints suffered much in this world; in the eyes of the world, many saints were poor. But the saints were the happiest of people. What this world offers cannot be compared to what heaven has in store for us; the wealth of heaven is way beyond what this world can give.
Being powerful is nothing compared to God's power. Being famous and known by so many is not as significant as being known and loved by the God who loves each one of us unconditionally.
If we truly desire happiness, let us then desire God. Our problems now will not matter as long as we are with God. As with the saints, it is only with God that we will experience real and lasting happiness.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
FR. ANTONIO S. SAMSON, SJ
GLORIA M. PILARES
LOUCIANA NGO SY
IN MEMORIAM (+)
DEPARTED FRIENDS & RELATIVES OF JAMES & GLORIA YU
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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