Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Vigil of All Saints - 31 October 2018

My Friends,

Saint Matthew 5 verse 3

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.

Perhaps we ask ourselves to what this might mean. Wel those, who are married under us will find this out perfectly, or perhaps they have experienced what it really is. As long as they are faithful or have been faithful to their wedding vows. Because then they promised:" I would like to be your husband/ I would like to be your wife and I promised you to be faithful in good and bad days, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. I want to love you and value you being with me all the days of my life. That is a beautiful promise and you have to be poor in spirit in order to keep them.
Poor in spirit does not really mean that you are a poor sheep, of someone unable to look after her or himself.

What it does mean is that you are prepared to go through this life with love in your heart, that you are humble and that you care about others and listen to others. You try to be a good marriage partner, a good mother or a good father. And you are trustworthy , you mean what you say and you do what you promise. You are not driven by selfishness and self love, but through love and taking care of your partner, your children, your family, you fellow human beings. And you pay attention to each others needs, whatever they might be and also care for sick and suffering fellow human beings. To summarize this, you try to live according to the ONE commandment of Jesus: Above all love your God and love your neighbour as yourself.

Verse 3 of the Beatitues invites us to do all this, including other parts of the Beautitues. They formulate that particular command of Jesus and are the foundation of us being followers of Christ. That is then also the reason why we are hearing the words of the Beatitudes in the Holy Gospel, because All Saints is not the feast of all the Saints, which appear on our Church calendar, but the feast of all the Saints, i.e. all the peaople, who have lived according to God's love and let us hope that this goes for us too, because then All Saints is a feast day.

In all circumstances the Beatitudes will show us the way to Holiness. No matter if we are father or mother, married or divorced, widow or widower, labourer or servant, Priest or layman or whatever we are. The beatitues encourages us to earnestly tread this road with all our ability.

We see to what happens in the world when people dont do this. If they are not poor in spirit and are so stubborn that they only live for themselves and think that they are always right.If we are so full of lies and cheat so much then violence is going to be quite normal.When they only know jalousy, self love and self glorification.
We should look at countries such as Turkey, Saoedi Arabia, Venezuela where presidents and other rulers have been sucessful to devide their people in such a way that people can only hate each other. If it gets worse, they try to kill each other. Then an other exemple, in the United States of America Donald Trump managed in less then two years time to devide his country through hatred, anger, lies and distrust as a rule of life, which undermines a democracy.
In the first lesson from Revelations 7 Saint John tells us about a remarkable vision. He sees the marked 44000 marked people from the tribles of Israel standing before God's throne, and next to them he sees a great group of people, so great that they could not be counted. They came from all races and all nations. They also stand before God's throne and sing His praises. Well , in this crowd belong our dearly departed, whom we remember on All Souls day. For them we shall pray as we do in every Holy Mass. They then live in God's eternal love and in the palm of His hand. And they are an exemple to us all, as they lived according to God's love.
Let us also do this: live according to God's love with the Beatitudes to guard us to a life full of love and peace and a feast of All Saints in our daily existance.


Father Ed Bakker,
Priest and Missioner,
Anglican Catholic Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne



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