Solemnity of All Saints – November 1

saintsCentral Idea: Heaven is for the pure of heart. Doctrine: The Communion of Saints. Practical Application: Suffrages for the souls in Purgatory.

To view Lectionary 667, click here.

Central Idea: Heaven is for the pure of heart

Reading 1 Rv 7:2-4, 9-14

  • Heaven is the condition of all human beings who participate in God’s own life face to face. It is pictured here as a universal Temple service in which Jews, Gentiles, and angels adore God. Don’t be surprised if you find it hard to imagine doing that forever and being perfectly happy.

Responsorial Psalm PS 24:1bc-2, 3-4ab, 5-6

  • This Psalm describes us, the people living on earth who long to see the face of God. Our hands must be sinless, our hearts clean, not desiring what is vain, seeking a reward for our grace inspired and assisted efforts.

Reading 2 1 Jn 3:1-3

  • Moved by grace, we can now glimpse what we are and will be: Children of God who will be like him when we see him face to face. This is also our spur to “make ourselves pure,” that is, to become holy.

Gospel Mt 5:1-12a

  • Moses ascended Mt. Sinai and from there brought down to God’s Chosen People the Mosaic Law. Jesus Christ now from a mountain delivers to all God’s people a new law. This law includes a portrait of the person of Christ and of every follower of his.
  • The elect in heaven fully enjoy the rewards promised. They have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb. Their hands are sinless, their heart clean, they desire not what is vain. They had the hope of salvation so they made themselves pure. Now they enjoy the reward we seek.

Doctrine: The Communion of Saints

  • God’s people exist today in three conditions:
    • The Church militant who strive on earth to conform their lives to the Gospel.
    • The Church suffering who endure a time of purification in Purgatory.
    • The Church triumphant who enjoy eternal reward in Heaven.
  • When salvation history is complete, all God’s people will be in the condition of communion with God and one another in perfect love and fulfillment.
  • Now, we can intercede for our brothers and sisters in Purgatory, as we will do tomorrow on the Commemoration of All Souls.
  • Now, we can ask our brothers and sisters in Heaven to intercede for us. They can help us because we are all parts of the body whose head is Christ.

Practical Application: Suffrages for the Souls in Purgatory

  • November brings to an end the liturgical year, so it is appropriate to think about death.
  • The Church has a tradition of praying and offering sacrifices for the dead during the month of November. The only dead who need our suffrages are those in Purgatory.
  • The best things we can offer for the souls in Purgatory are the Sacrifice of the Mass and the reception of Holy Communion each Sunday in November, or one more day of the week during November, or every day in November.
  • We can do this for particular persons we know who have died—our family and friends—and for all the souls there.

Click here for the outline for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

 

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