All Saints’ Day, Year A
Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12
This section of Matthew, known as the Beatitudes, is a type of inaugural address for Jesus. These words are not a wish, or a dream, but a statement of what the Kingdom of Heaven is, and of how we should begin to treat one another now. The Beatitudes in Matthew are statements that tell us about the Kingdom of God that is coming and the Kingdom of God here on earth. In pronouncing these, Jesus is once again turning the norm on its head, and reminding us that the Kingdom of God is different. These declarations orient life toward the other, toward equality, toward discipleship and toward love. Those, who follow Jesus, are to be different.
So why do we read these on All Saints’ Day? The nature of the Kingdom of Heaven is that it is already-and-not-yet. They state the character of God and ask if this is the character of God, should it not also be the character of the people of God? The saints are people who understood this and lived into this character in a variety of ways. The saints give us an understanding of what it looks like to have God in our midst, and to live a life with the Beatitudes as a part of our being.