Catholic mass readings
November 01 Thursday
30TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
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.’ And I heard how many had been sealed: a hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel. After that I saw that there was a huge number, impossible for anyone 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 in a loud voice, ‘Salvation 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 living creatures, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God with these words: Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen. One of the elders then spoke and asked me, ‘Who are these people, dressed in white robes, and where have they come from?’ I answered him, ‘You can tell me, sir.’ Then he said, ‘These are the people who have been through the great trial; they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb.’
1 John 3:1-3
You must see what great love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children which is what we are! The reason why the world does not acknowledge us is that it did not acknowledge him. My dear friends, we are already God’s children, but what we shall be in the future has not yet been revealed. We are well aware that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really ،s. Whoever treasures this hope of him purifies himself, to be as pure as he is.
Seeing the crowds, Jesus went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them: ‘How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance. Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.
We sometimes use yardsticks or reference points or benchmarks in our quest for perfection. And when we reflect on the lives of the saints in that way, we realize that each one is so different, so unique in their approach to the fullness of life. And that’s where the joy of their lives lay in seeking God in living exemplary lives following God’s commandments, ready to face persecution and even death in difficult circumstances and setting an example of prayer and selfless service to their fellow beings. What motivated the saints was their realization that they were God’s children and God loved them personally and they realized that happiness which is the goal of every person’s life can be enjoyed only through an inner disposition of cheerfulness, no matter what. As the Church celebrates the solemnity of all Saints, we are invited to be ‘saints’ in the name of Jesus by always being happy and joyful in all our relationships and work. Are you willing to take up the challenge of being a ‘saint in today’s world?’