† "Never say, 'What great things the saints do,' but, 'What great things God does in His saints.'" — St. Philip Neri
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞ "The life of faith is nothing less than the continued pursuit of God through all that disguises, disfigures, destroys and, so to say, annihilates Him. It is in very truth a reproduction of the life of Mary who, from the Stable to the Cross, remained unalterably united to that God whom all the world misunderstood, abandoned, and persecuted. In like manner faithful souls endure a constant succession of trials. God hides beneath veils of darkness and illusive appearances which make His will difficult to recognize; but in spite of every obstacle these souls follow Him and love Him even to the death of the Cross." — Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, p. 25 AN EXCERPT FROM Abandonment to Divine Providence
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Solemnity of All Saints
Saint of the Day for November 1
The Story of the Solemnity of All Saints
The earliest certain observance of a feast in honor of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of "all the martyrs." In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagonloads of bones and reinterred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended "that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honored in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons" (On the Calculation of Time).
But the rededication of the Pantheon, like the earlier commemoration of all the martyrs, occurred in May. Many Eastern Churches still honor all the saints in the spring, either during the Easter season or immediately after Pentecost.
How the Western Church came to celebrate this feast, now recognized as a solemnity, in November is a puzzle to historians. The Anglo-Saxon theologian Alcuin observed the feast on November 1 in 800, as did his friend Arno, Bishop of Salzburg. Rome finally adopted that date in the ninth century.
This feast first honored martyrs. Later, when Christians were free to worship according to their consciences, the Church acknowledged other paths to sanctity. In the early centuries the only criterion was popular acclaim, even when the bishop's approval became the final step in placing a commemoration on the calendar. The first papal canonization occurred in 993; the lengthy process now required to prove extraordinary sanctity took form in the last 500 years. Today's feast honors the obscure as well as the famous—the saints each of us have known.
I, John, saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, "Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the children of Israel.
After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb."
All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed:
"Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, "Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?" I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows." He said to me, "These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 24:1bc-2, 3-4ab, 5-6 R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. The LORD's are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? or who may stand in his holy place? One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Reading 2 1 Jn 3:1-3
Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.
Alleluia Mt 11:28 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
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."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ These verses from scripture are called The Beatitudes. To live or be with these attitudes is a gift from God and they are a summary of the full Christian life. The life of Jesus is the fulfilment of all of them.
▪ Pick out scenes in his life where Jesus portrays the beatitudes in his attitude to living and sharing with others. Maybe you could find times in your own life when he had some of these attitudes in dealing with you, for example mercy.
▪ Notice how often this gospel is read at both funerals and weddings. Reflect on why this is the case.
Dear Lord, help me each day to seek your presence more and more. Fill my heart with love for you.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
. . . a great multitude, which no one could count. (Revelation 7:9)
Imagine you've been invited to a dinner party. You're a close friend of the host, so you think you know who will be there. But when you arrive, you're surprised that along with the people you were expecting, you see many whom you've never seen before.
This is probably how we'll feel when we get to heaven. We may expect to see our grandmother or childhood pastor. But seeing a convicted criminal we recognize from the news or the kid who bullied us in middle school may catch us off guard.
That's why today's feast is so valuable. Today we celebrate, not the saints whose names we know, the saints who appear on our Catholic calendars, but all those unrecognized, hidden saints who have blessed the Church in every age. We celebrate each person in the "great multitude" described in our first reading (Revelation 7:9).
This multitude of saints includes parents who persevered in raising their children in the faith. It includes gas-station attendants and lawyers, dockworkers and movie stars who struggled with their sins and weakness but relied on God's grace to help them through their ups and downs. They are prison inmates and refugees who believed in God's love and trusted in his care for them. They are people who believed from childhood, as well as those who converted in their old age. They all knew it wasn't their efforts, but God's power made perfect in their weakness, that could make them holy.
Heaven is vast! It's made up, not only of the great saints, but of everyone who lived for the Lord. Let this truth fill you with hope for yourself and for your family—even the ones you worry about the most. No one is excluded. No one is ever too far gone. The Lord is a God of miracles, and that means that anyone can become a saint!
"Thank you, Lord, for your grace and mercy. Help us all to be holy as you are holy!"
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands." How did those robes turn white? The Word says they "...made them white in the Blood of the Lamb." They immersed themselves in the blood, they gave glory to God, they held the palms that proclaimed victory. I write to you who are giving life and blood, sweat and tears for the Holy Faith, our Catholic Christian faith where the blood is offered in hopes that you will give YOUR blood of a lamb to the blood of the Lamb of God, co-mingled in Co-union, communion with the living God!!! We prayed today "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face." and "Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? or who may stand in his holy place? One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain." Why do you think I keep mentioning confession? It is an opportunity to come clean, before you approach the Lord that seals with His blood in your body, the Holy Eucharist.
The second reading: "The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him." Saints are a strange people. They stand out like a sore thumb. To some, they are a nuisance, because they keep saying the truth. To some, they are guiding lights in a life of holiness. To some, they are the living Jesus, all they need...for salvation. In comes the Holy Lord, God of Hosts, God the Almighty, all knowing, and all powerful and we hear: " Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. " And we had just read Psalms written centuries earlier "Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? or who may stand in his holy place?" Scripture continues "His disciples came to Him". So, it is very possible to ascend the mountain. And God would transform them, wash them with the blood of a martyr, one who dies for their faith, and they are consecrated, and this is why we read as in the book of Revelation of those in Heaven proclaiming the Glory of God with palms, announcing victory. If this is too much, just know, follow Jesus, wherever He goes in life. Follow life. Being pro-life, is being pro-Jesus. He says "follow Me" and He ascends a mountain. And only His disciples ascend as He teaches ""Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven." And this line has perplexed me for years. Who are the "poor in spirit"? The footnotes in USCCB says "The poor in spirit: in the Old Testament, the poor ('anāwîm) are those who are without material possessions and whose confidence is in God (see Is 61:1; Zep 2:3; in the NAB the word is translated lowly and humble, respectively, in those texts). Matthew added in spirit in order either to indicate that only the devout poor were meant or to extend the beatitude to all, of whatever social rank, who recognized their complete dependence on God. The same phrase poor in spirit is found in the Qumran literature (1QM 14:7)." Just remember then, the dogs, the dogs have the kingdom...LOL, before we go on, I want that to catch your attention.
D.epend O.n G.od
Remember The Faith of the Canaanite Woman (Mt.15:27) …26But Jesus replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs." 27"Yes, Lord, she said, "- even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." 28"O woman," Jesus answered, "your faith is great! Let it be done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.…" And this woman that didn't "belong" to the Jews was granted salvation, for the one she interceded for. And this is how prayer works, through intercessors. Those who stand before God pleading on your behalf. Yesterday, a brother from another city asked me for prayer "because it's a tough world" he said. I said "I'm going to Mass right now, I will pray for you". And I considered it an honor to be asked for prayer, because this person has faith in me, that I will pray for him. That is how it works with saints. We have faith that they will pray for us. And the prayers of a holy person are powerful: PHILIPPIANS 1:9–11: "And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." The world confuses you. There is no confusion in Christ. Even the current election, if you are with Christ, your vote is very clear, it is for LIFE. For the Poor in Spirit. For those who mourn, the death of an unborn child, for those who are meek, those are hungry for God, and thirsty, for those who are merciful and clean of heart, for "they WILL SEE GOD". People struggle in life and in their distress cry inside "how I wish I could see you God". Clean up, and you will. Come to Jesus for He does not hide. Remove the muck of your life and you will see Him more clearly than you see people in front of you. I've been going to daily mass for weeks, every day, Holy Mass, and some confessions, and an interesting revelation has been occurring, and it is about the end of the world: Are you ready for this? Oh, wait, you want to know when it will happen? Sorry, I don't know. You want to know "HOW" it will happen? No, I don't know either. No, I'm talking about in the end...the eternity. The revelation goes something like this: Every day on earth, is a replica of what is to be expected in the forever now. That's it. I want you to live on earth, as if you were next to our Lord in Heaven. Will you participate in His Heavenly feast? Will you go where He goes? Will you seek Him and all you do is speak about Him? Will you sing for Him only, will you draw for Him only? Will you think about Him only? Will you breathe His air only? Will you be inspired by Him only? Will you immerse yourself with the Son, the blood, the body, the soul, the divinity? The Sun is rising, the SON of God is rising. The light makes darkness scatter and you will see that what was scary was never really there, because the revelation of the Lord says God is more and should be all of our life...and this is why I cry FOR LIFE.