Homily for the feast of the All Saints' Day - Year C - Mt. 5:1-12
 
 
by
 
Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 
 
" Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: «Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.» "
 
 
 
Homily:
 
 
" Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: «Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.» "
 
Today the Church celebrates all the Saints of Heaven! They are numerous, they are a multitude! The elect of God make up so great an assembly that Saint John, in his Revelation, exclaimed: "I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes." (Rev. 7:9) All of them deserve this praise from the Lord: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." All of them loved God above all things: they all have a pure heart!
 
But who are they? The answer is simple: they are men and women like us! If the eternal home of the Saints is in Heaven, it is because they were already holy on earth! Is this something at which we should be amazed? Is it really all that difficult to, while on earth, to have a pure heart, and to keep it pure until the day of our death, in order to please God? No, it is not difficult, for the grace of God is always there to help us, and with it all is possible, or rather, nothing is impossible: "For with God nothing will be impossible." (Lk. 1:37)
 
The grace of God is always there to help us! All of our strength during our life on earth consists of this grace: the very omnipotence of God comes to our aid if we ask for it with faith and humility! In other words, Heaven is already here, on earth, when we pray to the Lord in the purity of our heart. Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity, a Carmelite nun, said in one of her prayers: "O my God, Trinity I adore, help me to entirely forget myself in order to establish myself in you, immobile and restful, as if my soul were already in eternity! May there be nothing that could trouble my peace or remove me from You, o my Immutable One; but may every minute take me further into the depths of your Mystery! Pacify my soul, make of it your heaven, your beloved home and your place of rest."
 
" «Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.» "
 
The life of a Christian is not easy, nor is it filled with pleasures of all kinds... Rather, it is a life of obstacles and difficulties that must be overcome. If we have the grace of God to help us, it is precisely so that we can overcome all of these obstacles, all of these annoyances. Let us read once again about the vision of Saint John in Revelation: "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come? - These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Rev. 7:13-14) Saint John saw them: they are the Saints of Heaven! All of them have gone through this trial: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven."
 
Holiness undergoes trials of all kinds! It is by paying this price that Heaven is gained! No one goes to Heaven if he is not holy! No one goes to Heaven if he doesn't undergo trials, difficulties, and emotional or physical sufferings. He who thinks he can go to Heaven in some other way is living in complete illusion! We must not delude ourselves! The Lord has told us this many times. Let us listen to Him again: "The law and the prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and every one enters it violently." (Lk. 16:16) The grace of God is almighty and it comes to our aid, but we must collaborate with it and remain faithful to it in our trials!
 
With the grace of God, everything is possible: about this, there is no doubt! But we must believe it. The life of a Christian is one of faith and of love of God and neighbor. Let us ask the Lord, during today's Eucharistic celebration, for the grace of a strong faith, capable of doing everything for the glory of God! Let us especially ask Mary, the Most Blessed Mother of God, on her feast day, that our heart may always be pure and full of the love of God! May the Holy Spirit, through Mary, come and live in us as He does in Heaven!
 

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