November 1, 2023

Solemnity
of All Saints

What matters is not so much being pure of heart or merciful but discovering
these situations as a source of bliss. This is the challenge of faith.

THE FERTILE AUTUMN OF MOTHER CHURCH

In the heart of autumn, after the harvests and grape harvests, the Church invites her children to contemplate the harvest of all the living sacrifices offered to God, the great harvest of men and women who testified to their love for Christ and for their brothers and sisters. The solemn page of Beatitudes presents the Magna Carta of Christianity, which summarizes the paradox, the radicality, and the beauty of the Christian message.  Jesus proclaims the Beatitudes from the mountain. We don’t know what he is; however, the mention of him refers us to Sinai, where God, after having made an alliance with his people, gives the Tablets of the Law, the Ten words.  Jesus therefore, as a new Moses, delivers to the crowds who follow him a new Law in which superior justice emerges (“but I say to you”). With justice, superior does not mean a superiority in quantity (more fasting, more penance…) but in quality. The second element that emerges from the gospel is the number of eight (eight Beatitudes), although there also an invitation to rejoice in persecution. The eight refers to the eighth day, on which Christ conquered death and inaugurated the new creation. The Beatitudes are therefore a possibility of life within death. One final point. The literary genre of the Beatitudes is that of congratulation, well expressed in the reiterated “blessed”.  The emphasis is all on “Blessed”, even before we hear the content of each individual beatitude. What matters is not so much being pure of heart or merciful but discovering these situations as a source of bliss. This is the challenge of faith; or rather, not a challenge: the Beatitudes overturn the logic of our world.

You,
the Most Beautiful
rejected by us,
nailed by us
to the wood of the cross,
You enlighten us
and make us radiant
in you,
in your resurrected life,
in the bliss of the Kingdom.

Commentary by b. Sandro Carotta, osb Abbazia di Santa Maria – Praglia (Italy)

Translation by f. Mark Hargreaves,Prinknash Abbey

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