Today is Sunday the 31 October, the feast of All Saints, beginning the 31st week of Ordinary time.
Nóirín Ní Riain, with the monks of Glenstal Abbey, sings the Beatitudes.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew, using the Nick King SJ translation.
Seeing the crowds, he went up into the mountain; and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And opening his mouth, he began to teach them, saying:
'Congratulations to the poor in spirit - theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Congratulations to those who are mourning - they shall be consoled.
Congratulations to the gentle - they shall inherit the earth.
Congratulations to those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness they shall be satisfied.
Congratulations to the merciful - they shall be mercied.
Congratulations to the pure in heart - they shall see God.
Congratulations to those who create peace - they shall be called children of God.
Congratulations to those who are persecuted because of righteousness - theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Congratulations to you when they reproach you and persecute you and falsely talk all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice, and be glad, because your reward in heaven is huge. You see, that's how they persecuted the prophets before you.'
For today’s passage we have used British Jesuit Nick King SJ’s translation of the Beatitudes… what struck you about the passage read in this way? How was it to hear ‘congratulations’ instead of the famous ‘blessed’?
As we follow the liturgical calendar for the Jesuits in Britain, today we are celebrating the feast of All Saints. The ordinary men and women in history who have lived extraordinary lives of humility, service and courage in their faith. Is there a special saint who inspires you? Give thanks to God for their life and example…
As you listen to the reading again, notice the list of those who are congratulated… ‘the poor in spirit’; ‘those who are mourning’…. Who stands out to you?
As this time of prayer comes to a close, bring to the Lord the group who stood out to you the most… perhaps you identify with them… talk with God about it.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.