Tuesday 01 November 2022 – THE GREAT REWARD – ALL SAINTS 

31st Week of the Ordinary Time

First Reading: Revelations 7:2-4.9-14

I, John, saw another angel rising where the sun rises, carrying the seal of the living God; he called in a powerful voice to the four angels whose duty was to devastate land and sea, ‘Wait before you do any damage on land or at sea or to the trees, until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.’ Then I heard how many were sealed: a hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel. After that I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted aloud, ‘Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne, surrounding the elders and the four animals, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God with these words, ‘Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.’ One of the elders then spoke, and asked me, ‘Do you know who these people are, dressed in white robes, and where they have come from?’ I answered him, ‘You can tell me, my Lord.’ Then he said, ‘These are the people who have been through great persecution, and they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb.’

Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-3

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us. My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is. Surely everyone who entertains this hope must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them: ‘How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage. Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted. Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:  they shall be satisfied. Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God. Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God. Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’

THE GREAT REWARD: As we commemorate the all saints day, we get a glimpse of what is to come at the end of time. John in the first and second reading projects the events that will take place during the judgement day. He says that we are the children of God already but cautions us not to lose our track for our future is not yet defined. John gives us hope that even if we lose our track, we have a chance to mend our ways. Jesus in the Gospel gives us a way to follow so as to receive the gift of the Kingdom of heaven. When we follow the attributes and teachings of Christ, we shall surely get this reward of eternal life and happiness. As Christians, does our way of life reflect the teachings of Christ? If our life reflects that, how ready are we to receive the kingdom of God?

Prayer: Loving Father, cleanse our hearts that we may be ready for you.


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.


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!