Solemnity of All Saints

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – Ap.7:2-4.9-14; Ps.23; 2nd Reading – 1John 3:1-3; Gospel – Mt.5:1-12]

REJOICE AND BE GLAD

The Beatitudes are considered as one of the most important texts in the Gospels as for Jesus’ teaching. They are addressed to everyone. Jesus, looking at those who were listening to him and seeing their sufferings, the injustice they were passing through, the lack of respect towards them… He wanted to show them that God cared for them, that He was ready to be with them as indeed He was from the beginning of time. In fact all the things that his listeners were passing through were things that the people of Israel had passed through before them and God was with them. He always kept His promise. God gave them whatever they needed to understand His presence and His intervention, because at the end of the day, in one way or another, God was going to show His might in defence of those who chose Him as their God.

Jesus is saying the same thing to his auditors. Despite their problems, Jesus is inviting them to continue with their normal everyday life, decorated with problems, but at the same time to be gentle, to show mercy, to do what is right, to be peacemakers… even in time of persecution. As in the old Testament, God is ready to be with those who are ready to accept the same eternal condition: to chose Him as their God. In other words to be “poor in spirit”. Only through this attitude can they inherit the “kingdom of heaven” – “God himself”. This is the door to all the other beatitudes. If one is not ready to become “poor in spirit”, one cannot experience the fruit of the other beatitudes: one cannot inherit the earth, cannot be comforted, cannot have mercy shown to him/her… not after death, but here and now! So, how can one become “poor in spirit”?

The “poor” are those who have nothing but “need”. Therefore Jesus is talking about this “need”. Are we ready to become ourselves “poor in spirit”? To put ourselves in the need of God? Most probably we are not ready to accept this “poverty”. If so, are we ready to get rid of those things that forbid us to have that attitude through which we can appreciate God’s presence in our life?

Lord, it is not an honour to be poor. In our life we are always striving to have something that is ours. We are afraid to become poor, Lord. Oh, if we only could understand what “poverty” meant for those who embraced it to follow your footsteps.  Lord, give us the humility needed to have the same attitude of those who like Francis of Assisi became “poor in spirit” to experience your presence in our life!

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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