All Saints’ Feast – Solemnity

Posté par diaconos le 27 octobre 2020

Domani è la festa di tutti i santi, Origini e significato della celebrazione cristiana, e differenze con Halloween.

Rejoice and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven

From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Matthew

At that moment, seeing the crowd, Jesus went up the mountain. He sat down and his disciples approached him. Then, opening his mouth, he taught them. He said : « Blessed are the poor at heart, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven ». Blessed are those who weep, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you who are insulted and persecuted and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven.  » (Mt 5, 1-12a).

The teaching of Christ

 Jesus, having climbed a plateau on the mountain, began to teach the crowds that lined up around him. In eight beatitudes he proclaimed happiness and indicated the qualities of the people who would share the kingdom of both. First of all, those who yearn for the spiritual goods of this kingdom : those who are poor in spirit, whom their humility puts in possession of the kingdom; those who weep and who will find consolation ; or those who possess the dispositions and are in the condition of the members of the kingdom : the merciful, who will obtain mercy; those who are pure in heart and will see God ; those who bring peace and will be called children of God ; those who are persecuted for justice and whose reward will be great.

The vocation of the children of the kingdom is to be the salt of the earth, which must never lose its flavour, the light of the world, which must never be hidden. The light of the world must never be hidden. May this light therefore shine to the glory of God !

The crowds were those whom Matthew described in the fourth chapter, who, attracted by the healings that Jesus made and the power of his word, followed him from all the surrounding areas, including Jerusalem and Judea. The healings and the miraculous acts they witnessed prepared them for the astonishing words they heard.

How could those who experience and common sense proclaim unhappy have thought happy if they had not contemplated the wonderful liberations that Jesus had in store for them ? The mountain, despite the article, does not designate a particular height, but in general the height, unlike the plain. So the inhabitants of the valleys said: go to the mountains, without indicating a particular point of the place.

The tradition was more precise than the evangelists ; it places the Mountain of the Beatitudes not far from the city of Tiberias, situated on the edge of the lake of the same name. Behind the mountain that dominates Tiberias there is a wide plateau, which slopes gently upwards on the side of a rock that forms its summit. It was on this rock that Jesus spent the night in prayer and at dawn he called his disciples and chose his apostles.

Then he went down beside the crowd waiting for him on the plateau, and from there he taught the people. According to Matthew, Jesus came down, and it was on a plain that he made his speech. According to Matthew, he climbed a mountain with the people. Luke reported another detail: Jesus first climbed to the top and then descended to the plateau.

At the foot of a rock, at the top of the plateau, there was a small platform, a kind of natural pulpit, from which it was easy to see and hear a great multitude. It was from there that Jesus gave his teaching.  This speech set out the spiritual and sublime principles of the kingdom that Jesus had just founded, and it could not be understood by everyone, nor could it be practiced except by those who were animated by the spirit of that kingdom; but Jesus spoke and taught with a view to the future.

His word was a revelation, and when his work is finished, that word will become light and life in the hearts of his redeemed. To « open one’s mouth » is a Hebrew word which indicates the solemnity of action, the holy freedom of speech : « Pray for me that, when I open my mouth, I may be given the word to make known with certainty the mystery of the Gospel ». (Ephesians 6, 19)

Here the evangelist brilliantly makes a preface to show how Jesus prepares to preach: he climbs a mountain, sits down, opens his mouth; it is to make one feel the seriousness of his action. – Luther

The way Matthew introduced this preaching showed that he reported a solemn and prolonged discourse of Jesus. And was it not in the nature of things that Jesus, while healing the sick and comforting the afflicted, exposed to the multitudes who followed him the great and eternal moral principles of his kingdom? He did so with that freedom

Thus begins the Saviour. This is a beautiful, sweet and loving entrance into his doctrine and preaching. He does not proceed, like Moses or a doctor of the law, with orders, threats and terrors, but in the most affectionate way, the most suitable for attracting hearts, and with gracious promises. (Luther)

The way Matthew introduced this preaching showed that he reported a solemn and prolonged discourse of Jesus. And was it not in the nature of things that Jesus, while healing the sick and comforting the afflicted, exposed to the multitudes who followed him the great and eternal moral principles of his kingdom ? He did so with that freedom of rhythm which allowed for an improvised instruction which flowed from the source, but which, as a whole, did not lack great unity.

This love, however, has a profound seriousness, for those whom Jesus declared happy were very unhappy in the eyes of the world. They were happy only for the promise that accompanies and motivates each of these declarations. The poor in spirit are those who feel poor in their inner life, morally and spiritually poor, and therefore wish to receive the true riches of the soul.

The spirit designates the faculty by which one enters into relationship with God and realizes the moral life : « Watch and pray, that he may not fall into temptation ; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. « (Mt 26:41)  This feeling of poverty before God is not yet repentance, but a profound, painful humility which leads to it :  » « For thus says the Most High, whose dwelling place is eternal and whose name is holy: I dwell in high places and in holiness; but I am with the contrite and humble man, to enliven humble spirits, to enliven opposing hearts ». (Is 57, 15)

« The poor in spirit are all those who have a spirit detached from the goods of the earth » (Hunchback), and he added : « O Lord ! I give you everything: I renounce everything to have a part in this kingdom ! I undress my heart and spirit, and when you like to undress me, I submit to it » (Meditations on the Gospel).

In this understanding, Matthew’s first bliss corresponds exactly to Luke’s first bliss and has no meaning almost identical to that of the fourth bliss : « Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice ». Whether spiritual poverty or temporal poverty, humility or detachment, or both at the same time, has such a situation responds to the promise or rather to the positive and real affirmation: because for them it is the kingdom of heaven.

Those who mourn, or mourn, sadness does not apply exclusively to those who weep for their sins: in these afflicted people there is the humiliating feeling of their moral poverty, their sadness produces repentance to salvation : « For sadness according to God produces repentance to salvation from which one never repents, while the sadness of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7-10) In this way they will be comforted, because this pain leads them to the source of forgiveness, peace and life.

How could those whom experience and common sense proclaim unhappy have believed happy if they had not contemplated the wonderful liberations that Jesus had in store for them ? The mountain, despite the article, does not designate a particular height, but in general the height, unlike the plain. So the inhabitants of the valleys said: go to the mountains, without indicating a particular point of the place.

The tradition was more precise than the evangelists; it places the Mountain of the Beatitudes not far from the city of Tiberias, situated on the edge of the homonymous lake. Behind the mountain that dominates Tiberias there is a wide plateau, which slopes gently upwards on the side of a rock that forms its summit. It was on this rock that Jesus spent the night in prayer and at dawn he called his disciples and chose his apostles.

Then he went down beside the crowd waiting for him on the plateau, and from there he taught the people. According to Matthew, Jesus came down, and it was on a plain that he made his speech. According to Matthew, he climbed a mountain with the people. Luke reported another detail : Jesus first climbed to the top and then descended to the plateau. Such is the double thought that links this bliss to the previous ones.

 Also linked to them is the consideration that those whom Jesus called to the happiness of his disciples will still need to obtain mercy on the day of the supreme judgment, because, while they are sure of the kingdom of heaven, while they are comforted and full of righteousness, many shortcomings and imperfections will remain in their lives to be covered. He will be forgiven and will have mercy on them as they have had mercy.

The heart is, according to Scripture, the organ of moral life. To be pure of heart is, as opposed to external works, to be free from all contamination, falsehood, injustice and malice in this intimate centre of thoughts and feelings. This is not the moral state of man : « For it is from the heart that evil thoughts are born: murder, adultery, misconduct, theft, perjury, defamation » (Mt 15, 19).

How will this purity be achieved ? After Jesus has completed his work of redemption. Since each promise perfectly satisfies the disposition described in each of these beatitudes, those who are pure of heart are happy, because they will see God. That is, they will live in His communion, and one day they will immediately see Him in the supreme beauty of His perfections, the inexhaustible source of heavenly bliss.

Those who make peace. Those who are not only peaceful themselves, but who, having found peace, strive to bring it to others and to restore it among men where it is troubled. They are happy, because they will be called by that sweet and glorious title: children of God. This title expresses a profound reality; for, because these children of God bring peace, they have a likeness to their Father, who is the God of peace.

Because of justice, therefore, it is no different from that other term: because of me. Christ is the representative, the possessor, the dispenser of justice. Those who are persecuted because of Jesus are happy, because for them it is the kingdom of heaven. In the eighth bliss, Jesus returned to the first, thus concluding a harmonious cycle of experiences and promises. The first four are for those who are searching for their deepest needs, the last four are for those who have found and are already active in the Kingdom of God.

Every promise, source of (happy !) happiness, responding exactly and abundantly to every state of mind described, shines a ray of the glory of the kingdom of heaven  to the afflicted, to consolation ; to the meek, possession of the earth ; to the hungry, to satiety; to the merciful, to mercy; to the pure in heart, to the sight of God; to those who bring peace, the beautiful title of children of God. But in the first and last beatitude, Jesus, who is the Master of the kingdom of heaven, dispenses it entirely to the poor and the persecuted; and only there does he speak, not in the future, but in the present: this kingdom is theirs.

The reward, which in no way weakens the truth of salvation by grace, by faith, is great in proportion to the fidelity and love with which Jesus’ disciples suffered for Him. However, no Christian seeks this reward except God and the happiness of serving Him, without which he would lose what makes him great and kind. Jesus showed his persecuted followers a reason for joy in thought because they had this resemblance to the prophets before them : « And Elijah said to the people : « I am left only of the Lord’s prophets, and there are four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal’ « . (1 R 18, 22)

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other websites of Christian

Catholic Onkine : click here to read the paper → All Saints’ Day – Saints & Angels
◊ Britanica : click here to read the paper →  All Saints’ Day | Definition, History, & Facts.

Brother’s Homily Joseph Mary : All Saints (Solemnity)

Image de prévisualisation YouTube

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