GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 1ST NOVEMBER 2016
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 1ST NOVEMBER 2016
SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS
1ST READING: Revelation 7:2-4,9-14
PSALM: Psalm 24:1-6
2ND READING: 1John 3:1-3
GOSPEL: Matthew 5:1-12
THEME: SAINTS ARE FOREVER
Our human experience teaches us that things of low quality, no matter how beautiful they may appear, do not last. On the other hand, those that are of a high quality are capable of standing the test of time. Saints are human beings who, relying on the grace of God, have attained a high quality of sanctity. For this reason they cannot perish; they last forever.
In our Gospel text for the day, Jesus goes up the mountain as Moses did (cf. Ex. 19-24) and delivers a powerful sermon that gives us an insight into the quality of sanctity. This sermon is traditionally referred to as “The Beatitudes”. He addresses his disciples saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit… those who mourn… the meek… those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… the merciful…the pure in heart…the peacemakers…those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness…those who are falsely accused on account of me” (Mt. 5:3-11). He then adds, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Mt. 5:12).
The word translated as “blessed” (“makarios” in Greek) is used here as a declaration that a person has either received a blessing from God or can expect to receive a blessing in the future. From that perspective we can say that it pays to be holy, for a life of sanctity attracts blessings and favours from God.
To be a saint is not just about ‘feeling’ holy. It is about how we live our lives. It is about living a virtuous life. When we live the values of the Beatitudes, we can confidently say, “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is” (1Jn 3:2).
Saints are human beings who persevere in the grace God. They are people who rise up after every fall and keep going until they attain their goal. “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:14).
The call to holiness is universal. Becoming a saint is not a luxury; it is a necessity. On earth, the Church serves as a “hospital for sinners” but in heaven, it is an assembly of saints ONLY. St. Therese of Lisieux would say, “You cannot be a half saint; you must be a whole saint or no saint at all.”
Prayer: Eternal Father, if only saints enter into heaven then please make me a saint. For the sake of Christ I pray. Amen
Andrews Obeng, SVD
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).