Reflection: 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 – 1Jn.3:1-3; Gospel – Mt.5:1-12]

“REJOICE AND BE GLAD”

How can someone rejoice, and be glad and happy when he/she is abused or persecuted?  How can someone who is mourning, be at the same time, happy? How can those who are hungry and thirsty … be happy? … Sometimes, it is difficult to understand the Word of God, especially if we are not familiar with Him and with all His teaching!

The key to understand today’s Word of God is in the second reading. We are told that the Father lavished on us so much love that we can be called God’s children – and that is what we are. It is therefore up to us to see if we are ready to look at and therefore to accept the Word of God with the eyes of children. It is not the first time that we have talked about “children’s wisdom” in our reflections. In various ways we have talked about how children create and maintain their relationship with their parents or those who love them. And we transform all this into our relationship with God.

Today’s gospel depicts our relationship with the Father somewhat differently from what we said up till now. It talks about our total abandonment into the hands of God – something that we have repeated quite often in our reflections. Further, it talks about the fact that whatever happens to us in life, God the Father will always be there to give us the help that we need. If generally the attention is on what we do to abandon ourselves into the hands of God, today’s attention is what God does, once we have abandoned ourselves to His will.

Therefore, keeping in mind what we have just said, an answer to the questions that we had at the beginning of our reflections emerges. We can say that whatever happens to us – since quite often we do not have any control over some situations, be they persecutions, abuse, anything – if we are putting ourselves into the hands of God the Father, He will take care of us, as a true parent would do. We cannot stop someone from pursuing us, to speak all kinds of calumny against us. But, if we are in the Father’s hands, He knows how to take care of us.  Thus, God’s love for us is so great that for those who trust in Him, He will turn what is negative in our eyes, into what is positive in His eyes.

This is what, in the first reading, those who have been through the great persecutions and have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb have done!!! It seems impossible in our eyes that something which is washed in blood can become white again!  But not so for those who believe.  Such are the men who seek the face of the Lord!!! These are the Saints that the Church proposes to imitate!!!

Are we ready to create this “child-like” relationship with God the Father?  Are we ready to abandon ourselves totally in His will, even if we do not see any positive outcome, and let Him decide what is truly positive for us in our life?

Lord, before you began to speak, you went up the hill, symbol of the presence of God. There, You taught the disciples what to do if they wanted to follow you. Your teaching Lord, seems to be contradictory, but when seen from the right perspective, we understand how great is your love for those who are open to do Your will. Lord give us the strength that we need to be able to create that relationship with the Father, that You talked about in today’s gospel.  Thank You Lord!”

 

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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