Reflecting on the Heavenly Elect
God’s Promise; Everlasting Love & Peace
By Rev. Bob Johnnene OFD
Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans of Divine Mercy
My reflection for this week in which we honor and celebrate all the saints and heavenly elect and all who have lived their earthly life and passed on to their eternal reward was a very easy one to write.
All I had to do was rewrite two of this week’s readings as they sum up everything we have to do in order to gain everlasting life and also fulfill God’s desire for us while we inhabit this planet.
The Second Reading for All Saints day is from the first gospel of John verse 3:1-3 and states;
“Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is. Surely everyone who entertains this hope must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ”.
The Gospel from Matthew 5:1-12 continue with Christ’s Sermon on the Mount which tells us how to live and be happy; “Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them: ‘How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage. Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted. Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied. Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God. Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God. Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.”
The first reading for the feast of All Souls on Wednesday is from the book of Wisdom 3:1-9 which says the following; “The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them. In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die, their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us, like annihilation; but they are in peace. If they experienced punishment as men see it, their hope was rich with immortality; slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be. God has put them to the test and proved them worthy to be with him; he has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a holocaust. When the time comes for his visitation they will shine out; as sparks run through the stubble, so will they. They shall judge nations, rule over peoples, and the Lord will be their king for ever. They who trust in him will understand the truth, those who are faithful will live with him in love; for grace and mercy awaits those he has chosen.”
In Matthew 11:25-30 we hear Christ say; “I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light”
From these teachings of Christ we learn that if we accept how God created us and freely accept the burdens we are asked to carry as Christ accepted His burden and we live our life with compassion and concern for the well being of ALL God’s children then we will have earned everlasting life with God the Father, Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, Our heavenly Mother Mary, all the Angels, Saints and heavenly elect for all eternity. May God grant each of us the grace to follow Christ’s teachings and attain His promise in joining all who loved Him as He loved us. AMEN