Theme of the Feast: Called to Be Holy. Today’s readings reveal the divine plan that God has for us: he calls each of us to share his holiness, and introduces us into his own world.
A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to any of the faithful who: On one of the days from 1 to 8 November visits devoutly a cemetery or simply pray mentally for the dead;
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast day in honour of all the Saints, at whose festival the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God.
Almighty ever-living God, by whose gift we venerate in one celebration the merits of all the Saints, bestow on us, we pray, through the prayers of so many intercessors, an abundance of the reconciliation with you for which we earnestly long. Through our Lord. . .
I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues.
A reading from the Book of Revelation (Revelation 7:2-4.9-14)
I, John, saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel. After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.” Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where they have come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm24:1-2.3-4ab.5-6(R.cf.6a)
R. These are the people who seek your face, O Lord.
The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world, and all who dwell in it.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the rivers he made it firm. R.
Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The clean of hands and pure of heart,
whose soul is not set on vain things. R.
Blessings from the Lord shall he receive,
and right reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the people who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. R.
We shall see God as he is.
A reading from the first Letter of Saint John (1 John 3:1 -3)
Beloved: See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA Matthew 11:28
Alleluia. Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, says the Lord. Alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.
* A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 5:1-12a)
At that time: Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Today, we celebrate the Saints – The church Triumphant. They lived their earthly life in accordance with the Gospel principles and are rejoicing eternally with God in heaven. They did ordinary things in extraordinary manner. They were separated and marked with the seal of the living God. They constitute a “great multitude which no man can count from every nation, from all tribes and people and tongues, standing before the throne and before the lamb, clothed in white robes with palm branches”. They “have come out of great tribulations and have washed their robes making them white in the blood of the lamb”.
Since God is pure, in order to see him we must, like the saints, have “clean hands and pure heart; not desire worthless things and not swear so as to deceive our neighbour.” The Saints are the ‘blessed’ that Jesus spoke about in the Beatitudes his sermon on the mount.