REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
November 1, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“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. Matt. 5:3-8
Jesus made it clear in the beatitude that as Christians, we are indeed blessed people. The reason we are blessed is because the kingdom of God is already ours. So, it depends on us whether we are going to keep this treasure in our possession or allow it to slip from us. The beatitude on the one hand makes it clear that to follow Jesus is not easy, it is difficult. Poverty of Spirit means renunciation of both material and other possession. Meekness, mercy and peacemaking often go against our desire to strike back or get even.
As Christians we must work diligently to develop the kind of single-minded devotion to God, implied in purity of heart and hunger and thirst for righteousness. The solemnity we celebrate today is meant to provide us with all the encouragement we need for we will soon be with our brothers and sisters who have gone to heaven to be with the Lord.
Today we honor those holy men and women who have gone before us in faith and have done so in a glorious way. God asks a lot of us as Christians. But like any good father, God equips us for success. God equips us so as to be able to fulfill what He commands. That’s one of the reasons why God bestows His grace upon us. Through His grace, God the Father equips us to succeed as his adopted children. But there are other gifts by which God also equips us.
One of the greatest of the Father’s gifts to us is the Communion of Saints. We profess our belief in the Communion of Saints whenever we pray the Apostles’ Creed. We can reflect on today’s feast of all the saints as an encouragement for ourselves. The feast of All Saints gives us hope that, where the saints are now, we also might be after our deaths, if we persevere in the virtues of faith, hope and divine charity on this earth.
According to St Bernard, the saints have no need of honor from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning. “Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of Heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed.
Reflect today on this Solemnity of All Saints, what grace God has given us and his call on us to be saints. Give thanks to God for giving us our elder brothers and sisters in the Catholic Faith. They strengthen us by the example of their struggles on earth in following Jesus. They strengthen us by their prayers from Heaven, through which they turn to the same God who helped them reach Heaven, that God’s grace will strengthen us to be faithful on earth, to dwell eternally with God and all His holy saints.
Lord, as the saints in Heaven adore You for eternity, I beg for their intercession. Saints of God, please come to my aide. Pray for me and bring to me the grace I need to live a holy life in imitation of your own lives. All Saints of God pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.