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Gospel Reflection for November 1st, 2023 The Solemnity for All Saints
I just had an article written about my involvement with editing and writing a couple of the chapters for The Eucharistic Revival Project by my local diocese. In the article, I am quoted talking about the mass, “I once heard that St. John Henry Newman said regarding the Mass, ‘To me nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so overcoming, as the Mass, said as it is among us. I could attend Masses forever, and not be tired. It is not a mere form of words — it is a great action, the greatest action that can be on earth.’”
Hold onto Newman’s words for a moment.
Today’s gospel reading is one of the most, if not the most, well known of portions of the gospels—it is the beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. But what are beatitudes? Beatitudes are blessings. There is another way one can translate the language for today’s gospel by replacing the word “blessed” with happy.
Happy are those who mourn for they will be comforted.
I want the readers to think about this for a moment: The way the tenses are delivered in the teaching is mourners are happy because they will in the future be comforted—the mourners have HOPE.
St. Paul writes about the theological virtues, which includes hope, in his First Letter to the Corinthians:
We see now through a glass in a dark manner: but then face to face. Now I know in part: but then I shall know even as I am known.
And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.1
Many folks in our current society instinctively know we live in a fallen world or rather a world full of woes—they talk about “what’s on the news.” The difficulty is those same folks place their hope in man “If only this time we get it right…” to bring about paradise. The trouble is in the observation that no many how many times man tries “to get it right,” we fail time and time again.
We Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ—the everlasting man.
The Catholic Church teaches us there is hope out of this fallen world—and that a new heaven and earth will be established at the Second Coming. We, Catholics, are lucky to see a clear glimpse through the dark glass of our earthly existence of a coming Christ at every single mass we attend with our families. It is at the mass where God lifts the veil between heaven and earth.
Now, going back to the beginning quote from the English Saint, St. John Henry Newman has it right in a world full of woes, the mass is the consoling place for us earthly pilgrims. The mass is the place where the veil is lifted asking for all the Holy Saints to pray for our journey toward God. The mass is a place of hope, where we see the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, we are fed by Him striving to live a life holiness of becoming saints ourselves.
All Holy Saints, pray for us.
DRA, 1 Co 13:12–13.