Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Proper of the Day: Feast of All Saints

On this day, the church celebrates the ministry in the world of all the Saints who have lived among us. This is a Principle Feast of the Church, on the same level as Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday. The Litany of the Saints is often said or sung today, and in some congregations those who have gone before in the prior year are remebembered as some of the Saints now in God's greater glory. The Gospel for today is traditionally the Beatitudes (this version from Luke:)

esus looked up at his disciples and said:
"Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
"Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
"Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
"Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
"But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
"Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
"Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
"Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets

"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you."

That's what we're all called to do by Christ. Those who seem to have been able to do so more than most of us we have called Saints, and we find them in every generation, even now. When I think about this, it seems like all I can do is join the heavenly chorus and sing "Praise to God! Alleluia!"

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.


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