Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:
"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. "Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. "But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. "Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. "Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. "Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. "But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:20-31
Waking up on All Saints' Day means remembering the fun of Halloween and the reality of our humanity. We are here on this earth for but a passing moment, and we move from cradle to grave. Life is short, and we can suffer many losses in our lifetimes that can make us lonely and bitter. Or, for the sake of all those who have come before us, who have loved fully and lived generously despite all of the challenges they faced, we can live with the same love and generosity they taught us. I give thanks today for all who have gone before me, my Dad and sister Pegi, especially, who taught me love, laughter and life worth living.
We hear the familiar words of the beatitudes. Jesus promises blessing despite our circumstances. We are invited to remember, on this Feast of All Saints', those who taught us how to live. They lived with love and laughter despite pain and loss. They gave of themselves despite their need or poverty. They held us and wept with us, prayed and laughed with us, showing us God's love in their bodies and their spirits. God invites us today to honor our saints by living like them with great joy and a grateful heart.
Today I ask God to give me a grateful heart and a generous spirit. May we honor our saints by living as they did, suffering through the trials of life with the hope and joy of God's love for them. May we give from our gratitude and our need today.
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.