In the Gospel for All Saints
Day Jesus names the beatitudes – that is “be attitudes” – attitudes of being –
ways of acting. These are not laws. Instead they are named as guides for us as
we journey through life. On All Saints Day we celebrate the feast of “a great
multitude, which no one could count from every nation, race, people and tongue”
Some of the great multitude
we knew. They were our parents, siblings, friends, Dominican Sisters. Just
recently, several of our Dominican sisters of Peace joined this great
multitude. This great multitude also includes people unknown to us – the
innocent victims of war or violence, faithful parents who raised their children
to live authentic lives, and then lived to a ripe old age, those who died of
disease before living a full life, and so many more. The list goes on and on.
This great multitude are
those who took the beatitudes seriously. In one way or another, they lived
them. Some were known to be meek – slow to anger and quick to forgive. Others
hungered for righteousness, marched and wrote letters to change unjust
situations. Still others were peacemaker in his/her family. Many were
persecuted for the sake of justice. Their attitudes and the way they lived
during their lives on earth may not have made headlines. But God knew of their
mercy or peacefulness or justice seeking. God called them to their reward of
the fullness of heaven.
These beatitudes, bring us to
today, All Saints Day. We remember those we knew who have died; we add those
unknown, all who have not been officially canonized by the Church. We thank
them for their lives. We thank them for their example.
But it can’t end there. We
too are called to live as Jesus taught. We too are called to be peacemakers,
clean of heart, merciful. We too are challenged to live the beatitudes –
attitudes of being – ways of acting.
The question to ponder might
be; for what beatitude will you be remembered?