Saturday, 31 October 2009

All Saints - 1st of November

This Sunday coincides with the feast of All Saints, the 1st of November. The Gospel reading is tuned to that, taken from Matthew 5:1-12, the account of the Beatitudes. One would expect that it would be easy enough to write a reflection about this feast day, or concerning this Gospel, but I must confess that I have read the text a few times and nothing in particular jumps out at me, and I don't feel like just making something up without my heart being in it...

The past week has been quite busy. Last weekend, as regular readers of the blog might remember, was filled with the Youth 2000 retreat in Kilkenny. It meant as usual a busy time and not a lot of sleep, but also a shower of graces and blessings. It was the first time a Y2k retreat was held in Kilkenny, and it worked all out very well, and there was a good gathering of young people!

Directly after that I traveled with Fr. John Walsh OP to Cork, to spend a bit of time with the novices. They had a day out on the bank holiday Monday, and took me with them on their trip to Gougane Barra (see picture above) and after that over the mountains to Killarney. It was great to walk around and to be able to have a chat with most of them! Maybe I might post a short video clip soon as the group spontaneous starting to sing the Salve Regina in the little church!

Then Tuesday I left for Galway, my spiritual home in Ireland, to visit some old and new friends. It was nice to be back in this lovely city in which I was baptized! However, soon it was time and to seriously start thinking about the essays that I have to hand in shortly and subsequently to go back to Dublin... trying to get my head around the different concepts of reality the different philosophers in one of our modules are offering...

Maybe this can lead to an idea to enter the gospel of this Sunday, the different perceptions of reality the philosophers propose. We probably all kind of feel that we all know what reality is, we seem to know exactly what is happening around us, but are we right? Maybe we are not, and I don't mean regarding the perception of the world and the question if matter exists or not, but on what reality really is, what is real and what is important...

Jesus "went up on the mountain, and when he sat down" (Mat 5:1 RSV), "and he opened his mouth and taught them" (Mat 5:2 RSV). It was only just before, if we follow the chronology of the Gospel, that Jesus had called His first disciples, and a large crowd started to follow Him as "he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people" (Mat 4:23 RSV)

But now we get maybe the first account of the different reality Jesus is offering us, a reality which would be alien to the people at His time, as is it alien to our own generation even if we have heard it so often. The reality Jesus is teaching is a reality of very different from what we normally perceive, but it is a reality that should lead us to heaven, it is the reality that there is a heaven!

For even if we are among the poor and lowely here on earth, and a persecuted and suffer especially if for His name we should "rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Mat 5:12 RSV)

There is this reality which is Heaven, and we should not forget about... it is the bigger picture of why we are here, why we live. Especially on this feast of "All Saints" we can look at the great examples who have gone before us, who did not care about this world, but followed Jesus in action and deed and are now blessed by being with Him in Heaven. One of the common features of the saints is the joy that radiates from them, exactly because they are doing what is conformity which the real reality. So maybe it is an opportunity to look at our favorite saints, and to contemplate how the reality of their life fits into the reality on how we live our lives.

As I said, I don't really feel inspired today, so I leave it at that...

1 comment:

Em the luddite said...

I was delighted to be reminded that "One of the common features of the saints is the joy that radiates from them." I kept on being struck over the summer at Peter & Paul's what a joyful place a cathedral is exactly for that reason... entering into the joy of the saints. How different from the stoic, austere idea people associate with saints!


The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin