the beattitudes


Wassily Kandinsky
All Saints l. 1911.

the Gospel message for today, All Saints Day, is based upon St. Matthew - ch. 5, vv 1-12a, the beattitudes. we all know them, pretty much, but here is a good run-down:

Mt 5:1-12a

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven."

when i taught my 8th graders about this passage, i referred to them as the "Be" attitudes - a way of right-thinking similar to our trying to keep aligned with the 10 commandments. they thought it impossible, but i digress :)

is it possible? as i sat and listened last evening to Monsignor reading these aloud, i thought "peacemaker...sounds like Antony...clean (pure) of heart? wow, that's margie and jeff [two my best friends]...persecuted for the sake of righteousness? that's jules!...mourn? there's my gayla girl...merciful? rwk, hands-down..." of course selfishly, i pray i am poor in spirit, merciful, and that i also hunger and thirst for righteousness, but i certainly have my days when i am so not any of those.

are there any you could add to the list?

in the Catholic faith, we practice the honoring of saints that have gone before us in heaven; however, i cannot help but feel we walk among saints today (and i, as a former Protestant, know that we are all deemed saints, but just hang with my concept here, m'kay?) - for instance, i recently went to Mass at a different church in the area (chapel, actually) because i had heard many wonderful things about the priest who presides there, an ancient soul who is around 93 years old. as i was leaving, i shook the hand of this Father Leonard and i got the sense that i was touching the hand of a Saint of God. i don't often feel that type of insight when it comes to godliness, but it was powerful and overwhelming and really blew me away.

let us today honor all the saints among doing so, we truly are not far off from the Kingdom of God.

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