READINGS for 2008-11-01
Solemnity of All Saints’ Day
hOW tO bE RICh
“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.” – Matthew 5:3
Some people read this verse to mean that God wants them to be poor — spiritually and materially.
One day, I gave a talk on the 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich, and one woman came up to me, almost crying in gratitude. “When I was a child, I was taught by a nun in our religion class that we needed to be poor to be pleasing to God. Since then, I’ve always tried to avoid riches. Today, you’ve freed me!”
The woman was in her 50s. She had been in a self-imposed prison of poverty for so long. And I bet many people are. That’s why I wrote the book 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich. I want to release people from this prison and tell them that there’s a way of becoming wealthy without being materialistic. Think for a moment: If Mother Teresa didn’t have generous friends who gave her $40 million a year to support her ministry, she wouldn’t have been able to feed and care for the poor the way she had.
What does it mean to be “spiritually poor”? In one word, humility. It means that you acknowledge your desperate need for God
Wealth isn’t the path to happiness. God is. But with God, wealth can be a way of serving Him. My friends, be truly rich.Bo Sanchez
Count the ways you can be rich.
Lord, You are my wealth. Everything else should serve You, my treasure!
It is good to remember that we are not alone in our efforts to serve the Kingdom of God. We work with others here on earth, as well as enjoy the benefits of the millions of saints who have gone before us to heaven. Let us draw strength from their example, and strive to continue their legacy as we seek to add our own contribution to the life of God’s Kingdom.
Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14
2 I, John, saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, 3 “Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites. 9 After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshipped God, 12 and exclaimed: “Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” 13 Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
P S A L M
Psalm 24:1b-2, 3-4ab, 5-6
R: Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
1 The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. 2 For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. (R) 3 Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? Or who may stand in his holy place? 4 One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain. (R) 5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD, a reward from God his savior. 6 Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob. (R)
One of the most important legacies the canonized saints of the Church leave us with is their example of love. In each of their lives and writings, we find a witness to the call to love our neighbor unconditionally. It is this that will set us apart as Christians in an increasingly secular and polarized world. With terrorism what it is today, what the world needs most is living examples of unconditional love. One of the roles of a saint is to bring to the world what it most needs at that time.
1 John 3:1-3
1 Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.
G O S P E L
How different the world would be if we all lived according to the Beatitudes rather than just for ourselves and our own desires. If you want to be a saint today, I am sure this is the starting point! As the world grows more individualistic, extremist groups will become more and more polarized. The antidote to all of this is Christian love – a love which is inclusive and not exclusive; looking out for others, not selfish, and seeking to transform the world into the community of God’s Kingdom according to the love of God.
1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 He began to teach them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. 6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
think:What the world needs most is living examples of unconditional love.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Isaiah 41-44
GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS
SaintS MariS and Martha
Maris and Martha, together with children Abachum and Audifax, were rich Persians in the third century. When they converted in faith, they gave their possessions to the poor. They visited Rome and honoured the tombs of martyrs. They sympathized and gave aid to the persecuted faithful and buried the bodies of the slain. This was against Emperor Claudius II who then persecuted the Christians. As a result, the judge Muscianus persuaded the family to abjure their faith. When they refused, he had the family tortured then killed. The Maris and his sons were beheaded then their bodies burnt at a place called Nymphae Catabassi, while Martha was cast into a well.
A Roman lady named Felicitas had successfully secured the half-consumed remains of the three men and Martha’s body from the well. She secretly buried the bodies in a catacomb on the thirteenth before the Kalends of February (January 20).
Saint Fabian was a farmer and layman in the third century.
After the death of Pope Anterus on January 3, 236 the election for the papacy began. Several wealthy and noble persons were being considered for the pontificate when Fabian, an ordinary farmer, was descended upon by a dove. This reminded those gathered of the descent of the Holy Spirit during Christ’s baptism ; thus, the clergy and laity unanimously chose Fabian for the position.
Not much is known about the pontificate of St. Fabian. According to the “Liber Pontificalis”, he divided Rome into seven districts, each supervised by deacons and seven subdeacons. He instituted the four minor orders and focused in the working of the catacombs. The Pope also condemned the heresy of the Bishop of Lambaesa in Africa.
Pope Fabian died a martyr under the persecutions of Decius in 250.
Saint Sebastian, born in Narbonne, Gaul, belonged to a wealthy Roman family. He was educated in Milan and later became an officer of the Imperial Roman Army then captain of the guard.
When Diocletian persecuted the Christians, Sebastian visited them in prison, providing them with supplies and bringing them comfort. It was reported that he healed the wife of a soldier by making the Sign of Cross over her ; thus, soldiers and governors were converted.
According to some stories, when Sebastian was finally discovered to be a Christian, he was handed over to the Mauretanian archers as punishment. He was tied to a tree and shot with arrows. Through the intervention of the widowed St. Irene, Sebastian was healed. St. Sebastian was persistent. After surviving the encounter, he returned to Diocletian to preach him about God. The emperor was furious ; thus, having him beaten up to death.
St. Sebastian was martyred in Rome in A.D. 288.
CHRISTIAN MAGNA CARTA
As of this writing, there is so much debate going on in the Philippines over the issue of changing its Constitution. Some advocate charter change while others, even if they believe that the present fundamental law needs a second look, do not support any attempt to change the Constitution. Those who disagree with charter change now think, among other things, that the present political climate is not conducive to constitutional revisions. There is also the whole question of who should modify the fundamental law of the land: a constitutional commission or a constituent assembly from the present legislators. It is such a complicated issue.
Jesus gives us today the Magna Carta of Christianity. If Christianity were a form of government, the Gospel today forms its Constitution. Unlike the fundamental law of any nation, the Beatitudes need no revision or any change at all. It is valid for all times and at all places for every disciple of Jesus. Unlike the Constitution of any country, it is not the Beatitudes that is changed; rather, it is the Beatitudes that change us. Thus, when we feel uncomfortable with the demands of the Christian Magna Carta, we should not water down what it requires from us. We do not modify the Beatitudes; the Beatitudes should modify us.
Not all Filipinos are happy with their present Constitution. But every Christian is sure to find real happiness in the Beatitudes.
Today, we celebrate the solemn feast of all men and women from all times and places whose lives have been deeply changed by the Beatitudes. They are the holy men and women of God. As we honor their blessed memory, may we follow their example of living according to the Christian Magna Carta. They show us that holiness is not only possible but is our perennial calling. Fr. Bobby Titco
Holiness is the perfection of charity.
God, our Creator, we praise Your glory manifested in the saints. May we who share in their calling to holiness come to share in the holiness of their lives. Amen.
St. Austremonius, bishop and missionary, pray for us.
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