In 2016, Pope Francis offered a “new” look at the Beatitudes, a revision of what they might be in today’s world. Here’s an excerpt from The Catholic News Service dated 11/1/16.
— “Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart.
— “Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized and show them their closeness.
— “Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him.
— “Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.
— “Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others.
— “Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.”
“All these are messengers of God’s mercy and tenderness,” Pope Francis said. “Surely they will receive from him their merited reward.”
Compare these to those of Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber then to those found in this week’s gospel. Don’t forget to look at the “woes” this week as well.
Post your thoughts on our website.
Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.”
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
From sermon4kids.com: “Why should we love our enemies? Jesus said that when we love our enemies, we are acting like children of God. If we only love those who love us, will God reward us for that? If we are only kind to our friends, what is so great about that? Everybody does that!”
Collect: Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Reflection: “Take a moment in prayerful reflection for saints among us, around us, and before: Who are your saints? Who has shaped your life and world? What kind of saint is God calling you to be?” from “Remembering All Saints” from Patheos website.
Practice: Who in your life do you consider (have you considered) a saint? Why? If you are so moved, post your comments to our website.
Ear Worm: “For all the saints” two ways: Indellible Grace and congregational singing, this is visually appealing too; “I sing a song of the saints of God” sung by kids (forgive the initial seconds when the image is sideways), which is your fav?
Brain Food: “Remembering All Saints” by Bruce Epperly; “Blessed“, poem by Steve Garnass-Holmes from Unfolding light weblog; “What is a saint?“, self-guided retreat from At the edge of the enclosure weblog
Contemporary Parables: “There’s something about Mary“, two suitors who are in love with how Mary makes them feel; “Bedazzled“, “blessed are the persecuted”; “The Cider House Rules“, “blessed are the pure in heart”
Image: “Communion of Saints”, an acrylic painting by Elise Ritter
Saint Focus: For this week, the focus is Mary of Qidun, whose tale is perhaps not yet factual. She is viewed as a monastic who strayed (not sure whether willing or not). Rather than disgrace her family and particularly her Uncle Abraham (also a monastic), she fled the monastery. Uncle Abraham has a new mission—to find her and return and bring her home, which he did. They remained in the monastery until their deaths.
This week, the saints under consideration were :
- 28; SS Simon & Jude, apostles
- 29; Mary of Qidun, Monastic, 4th c.
- 29; James Hannington, Bishop, and his Companions, Martyrs, 1885
- 30; John Wycliffe, Translator of the Bible 1384
- 31; Paul Shinji Sasaki & Philip Lindel Tsen, Bishops, 1946 & 1954
- 1; All Saints
- 2; All Souls/All Faithful Departed
- 3; Richard Hooker, Priest & Theologian, 1600
- 3; Martin de Porres, Monastic, 1639
Explore the epistle lesson from Ephesians (1:11-23), particularly verses 15 -19. Identify an “everyday” saint who has had an impact on your faith formation. Consider writing a short note of thanks to the everyday saint you have identified. You may also be a “saint” to others. In the gospel lesson, too (Luke 6:20-31), we are “saints” only by the grace of God, and are being perfected. How are these lessons difficult for you? If you choose, post your thoughts on our website.
What do you want to be, anyway?
I forget what we were arguing about, but in the end Lax suddenly turned around and asked me the question:
“What do you want to be, anyway?”
I could not say, “I want to be Thomas Merton the well-known writer of all those book reviews in the back pages of the Times Book Review,” or “Thomas Merton the assistant instructor of Freshman English at the New Life Social Institute for Progress and Culture,” so I put the thing on the spiritual plane, where I knew it belonged and said:
“I don’t know; I guess what I want is to be a good Catholic.”
“What do you mean, you want to be a good Catholic?”
The explanation I gave was lame enough, and expressed my confusion, and betrayed how little I had really thought about it at all.
Lax did not accept it.
“What you should say” – he told me – “what you should say is that you want to be a saint.”
A saint! The thought struck me as a little weird. I said:
“How do you expect me to become a saint?”
“By wanting to,” said Lax simply.
“I can’t be a saint,” I said, “I can’t be a saint.” And my mind darkened with a confusion of realities and unrealities: the knowledge of my own sins, and the false humility which makes men say that they cannot do the things that they must do, cannot reach the level that they must reach: the cowardice that says: “I am satisfied to save my soul, to keep out of mortal sin,” but which means, by those words: “I do not want to give up my sins and my attachments.”
From The Edge of the Enclosure blog.