Gospel: 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.”
CELEBRATION OF THE PEAK OF HOPE: To have hope is to have passion for the possible. In the first reading, John sees a multitude before the throne shouting that salvation comes from God. This gives us hope as John also tells us in the second reading, that we shall see God as He is. Today, we are united with the saints not only those noted in the calendar but also those unfamiliar to us, including many of our Africans who passed on after living a God-fearing life. We can follow their footsteps by living the spirit of the beatitudes, the spiritual ideals given in today’s gospel. These are the roadmaps, the ladders to heaven. The whole of our Christian life is about climbing this ladder. There will be many hurdles along the way but let us remain hopeful that we can overcome them.
PRAYER: God bestow upon me the grace to follow the saints in virtuous and godly living.
BEING DETACHED FROM THE WORLD AND ATTACHED TO THE WORLD: Two little twins in the womb of the mother entered into a conversation. First: “Do you believe in a life outside the mother’s womb”? It is a non-sense, sheer stupidity. Second: “But I feel there is more light in the world outside. We walk, we eat- But you see it is the umbilical cord. And outside there is a much wider world, extensive life.” First: “No one has come back, so birth is the end; and where is the mother? Second: She is around us, we are in her.” We are not very different from these kids. We do not understand God. The way of the Beatitude is the way to the Heaven: when Beatitudes become your guiding principles you are on the sure road to Heaven. John, in the Book of Revelation offers a panoramic picture of Heaven where God is continuously adored and glorified. It is a scene of eternal celebration where God plays the central character. Let’s wake up and walk along this royal road to the heavenly court.
HOLINESS IS A CALL TO ALL: Today we celebrate our fellow human beings who have lived their lives with a passion for God and a passion for humanity. In this way, they have realized their full potential as human beings. Saints are intercessors before God as we continue our journey towards holiness. They are also our models who challenge us to live the Christian ideals in a radical way. The gospel of today tells us what the Christian ideals are. At the core of the Beatitudes is an invitation to be one-minded about our desire for God: to make ourselves vulnerable before God (poor in spirit), to yearn/mourn for God, to surrender our wills before Him by being meek, to respond to the grace of God that makes us righteous, and to love him with purity (total devotion) of heart. This desire for God will also be expressed in our being peace-makers and being merciful to the rest of humanity. This is holiness!