Autor: Father Eamonn OHiggins, LC | Fuente: Sacerdos: Resources for Priests All Saints
November 1st, 2005
Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14; Psalm 23; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12
Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14; Psalm 23; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew
Theme of the Readings
All the readings of todays solemnity
refer, in different ways, to the Kingdom of Heaven. St.
Johns Letter reminds his listeners that they have now, through
Gods love, become Gods children. Even so, the visible, external
manifestation of this reality has not yet been revealed. All
we know is that, in some way, we will be
like God. The reference to the world is to those
people who refused to accept Jesus teaching and example.
of Revelation presents two imaginative visions the life of
the Christian on this earth and the assembly of the
Kingdom of Heaven. Those marked with the seal (v.5) on
earth, those identified as Christian, appear to be protected by
God in the midst of great turbulence. The second vision
is of Heaven, with particular emphasis on those wearing white
robes, those who have washed their robes and made them
white in the blood of the lamb (v.14). These are
men and women who have become Christian in their earthly
lives and have been transformed by remaining firm in the
time of great distress (v.14).
Psalm 24 asserts Gods sovereignty over
all creation and points to the necessary conditions for those
who wish to approach Him: one whose hands are sinless,
whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain
St. Matthews Gospel presents the well-known passage of the beatitudes
and Our Lords clear and paradoxical teaching on the right
dispositions towards this life for anyone who aspires to the
Kingdom of Heaven. The beatitudes (we may have become too
used to the title to appreciate its paradoxical nature) refer
to signs and dispositions we would probably consider misfortunate, but
that, from a Christian perspective, are reassuring. First of all
we are told to be spiritually detached from goods and
possessions. We are told to be merciful, just and pure
of heart. We are to count suffering as a spiritual
blessing. We are to work for peace and justice. Especially,
we are to count as a blessing all insults and
persecution because of our Christian faith. We are told that
our reward in Heaven will be great.
destiny: All of the readings refer with certainty to another
life or existence beyond the visible boundaries of this earthly
life. This is the destiny of each person and it
is only in reference to this eternal (and for us
future) life that the circumstances of this life make sense.
The inner experience, at least in foretaste, of this joyous
Kingdom is promised now to those who open their lives
to the action of God and act accordingly. As we
are bound to what we see and hear in our
visible world, the Church makes present the spiritual birth and
growth of Christian life through visible signs that signify what
we cannot see. As life passes we can capture a
little more the spiritual reality of the Kingdom of God
that surrounds us. Death is the final barrier that lifts
the veil on our limited vision.
Catechism references: paragraphs 1020-1029
refer to everlasting life and Heaven.
Inner transformation: the individual acceptance
(or rejection) of the Kingdom of God in this life
is also a process with stages and requires the active
search for and practical assimilation of spiritual reality experienced through
the sensible world. In the light of our supernatural destiny
each Christian is invited to base his or her life
on Gospel realities. Jesus insists that it is more important
what happens within us, and within others, than outside of
Catechism references: paragraphs 2338-2347 refer to the integrity of the
person, self-mastery and the integrality of the gift of self.
Applications We become accustomed to ways of living and a routine
in daily life. Even after great personal upheavals we have
a capacity to resettle on our foundations. The question is
on what and on whom we base our security.
Fathers taught that man has but one, supernatural, destiny. This
may be hard for us to appreciate as we live
in a mentality that is so profoundly secular that we
cannot imagine any other form of fulfillment if not in
terms of what we know here and now. Even so,
this supernatural destiny is not some type of extra prize
for a good life on earth; it is the only
satisfactory fulfillment for the deep, eternal desires that we experience
within us now.
We are not peaceful creatures; we are restless,
searching people constantly trying to find that which pulls us
forward in hope.
Immanent forms of thought bind us to
the illusion of an earthly paradise; something that we know
cannot be fulfilled in any permanent way in this life.
In death, it is I who finally fail.
Talk of Heaven
seems to many to be something of a childish theme,
a mythical story told to explain what we do not
know, hardly justified in reality. And yet, we fail to
appreciate how absurd this life is if there is nothing
more than death. Our actions seem to show our desire
and existential belief in more than this life offers, even
if our intellectual propositions do not extend beyond the here
Christianity itself stands or falls on the reality of
spiritual and eternal life. The beatitudes are indeed a useless
folly if they do not presuppose eternal life. Spontaneously we
live on the presumption that we will live forever and
that we will achieve that what is mysteriously behind each
of our desires and goals. Why do we not open
our minds as well to the fact of eternal life?
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