Solemnity of All Saints

Engaging Faith | Thu, Oct 25, 2012

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

Lectionary Reflections for November 1, 2012

Solemnity of All Saints
November 1, 2012

Revelations 7:2-4, 9-14
1 John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12a

October 31: Halloween
November 1: All Saints Day
November 2: All Souls Day
November 6: Election Day in the United States


Let us go forward in hope!
John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte

Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace.
Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 1

In an increasingly globalized society, the common good and the effort to obtain it cannot fail to assume the dimensions of the whole human family, that is to say, the community of peoples and nations, in such a way as to shape the earthly city in unity and peace, rendering it to some degree an anticipation and a prefiguration of the undivided city of God.
Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 7

A spirituality of communion means, finally, to know how to "make room" for our brothers and sisters, bearing "each other's burdens" (Gal 6:2) and resisting the selfish temptations which constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy.
John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte

Now is the time for a new "creativity" in charity, not only by ensuring that help is effective but also by "getting close" to those who suffer, so that the hand that helps is seen not as a humiliating handout but as a sharing between brothers and sisters.  We must therefore ensure that in every Christian community the poor feel at home.
John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte

Thoughts for your consideration

In Revelations 7:9 we read: “I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue.” God’s vision, God’s desire for holiness among people, is to include all people, the whole world.   This vision certainly challenges all the contemporary ideologies that exclude people of certain ethnic groups or nationalities or races.  Holiness and salvation is inclusive.

The values of Jesus – the values of the saints -- contrast markedly with the values that we see play out in parts of our contemporary culture where greed, prestige, power, security, wealth, status and the like are often assumed to be signs of success and happiness. The gospel message is clearly “counter-cultural.”

Each of the Beatitudes may remind us of some aspect of Catholic Social Teaching:
* Our preferential option for the poor
* Our concern for anyone who is suffering, especially from injustice
* The profound dignity of every person irrespective of wealth or power
* Our hunger for justice in the world and in its institutions and structures
* Our concern for both justice and mercy in our criminal justice system
* Our profound respect for life in all it forms
* Our care for the earth as a gift from God to be shared by all
* Our passion for nonviolence and peace
* Our willingness to face opposition and to live by values different from those of our culture.

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

Which of the beatitudes do you find most challenging? 
How does it challenge your way of living?


Who are the saintly “justice people” in your community and how do they inspire or encourage your own life?


Who are the people who you consider saints even if they have not yet be canonized?


Jim Martin SJ writes in the New York Times about two unlikely saints:
Actions – Links

Resources to prepare for the election
Check out the Center of Concern page at:
Check out the YouTube video from BustedHalo:

Remembering those who have died
In the Catholic Church and maybe in other Christian churches as well, November is the traditional month to remember those who have died.  (All Souls day is November 2.)
* The Children’s Defense Fund released its annual report Protect Children, Not Guns. Almost 3000 children and teens are killed by firearms each year in the United States. Find out more at
* Bread for the world reports that on our earth  “Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes.”
* The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that in 2011, 1.7 million people died of AIDS.

Halloween and All Saints Day

“Crazy Facts”

The following facts are from The Children’s Defense Fund’s annual report Protect Children, Not Guns. Almost 3000 children and teens are killed by firearms each year in the United States. Find out more at

The 5,740 children and teens killed by guns in 2008 and 2009:
• Would fill more than 229 public school classrooms of 25 students each;
• Was greater than the number of U.S. military personnel killed in action in Iraq and
Afghanistan (5,013).2
* The number of preschoolers killed by guns in 2008 (88) and in 2009 (85) was nearly double the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2008 (41) and 2009 (48).
* Black children and teens accounted for 45 percent of all child and teen gun deaths in 2008 and 2009 but were only 15 percent of the total child population.
* Black males 15-19 were eight times as likely as White males of the same age and two-and-a-half times as likely as their Hispanic peers to be killed in a gun homicide in 2009.
* The leading cause of death among Black teens ages 15 to 19 in 2008 and 2009 was gun homicide. For White teens 15 to 19 it was motor vehicle accidents followed by gun homicide in 2008 and gun suicide in 2009.
* The most recent analysis of data from 23 industrialized nations shows that 87 percent of the children under age 15 killed by guns in these nations lived in the United States. The gun homicide rate in the United States for teens and young adults ages 15 to 24 was 42.7 times higher than the combined rate for the other nations.
* Of the 116,385 children and teens killed by a gun since 1979, when gun data by age were first collected, 44,038 were Black—nearly 13 times more than the number of recorded lynchings of Black people of all ages in the 86 years from 1882 to 1968. Even so, more White than Black children and teens have died from gun violence.

Prayers of Intercession

Response: God we are grateful.
In gratitude for all the good and holy people who have blessed our lives, we pray….
In gratitude for all those who have spent their lives and energy taking care of the poor and sick and dying, we pray….
In gratitude for all those who have spoken up for justice, we pray…..
In gratitude for all the peacemakers in our world, we pray…..
In gratitude for those who have been made to suffer or have been imprisoned for their work for what is good and just, we pray.
In gratitude for all who have given their lives as they have lived out the call to work for peace and justice, we pray….

Prayer - Meditation
Prayer before an election from the US Bishops

Prayer for Those Affected by Physical, Sexual, Political or Emotional Violence
By The Rev. Patricia Sandra Horton, Birmingham, Alabama, USA

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