This Sunday we will mark All Saints Sunday, when the Church remembers and celebrates the Saints of the Church: those men and women who, through their exemplary lives of service, teaching, preaching and action have helped to point the way for Christians in every generation.

The Gospel for this Sunday is from the teaching of Jesus found in Matthew, best known as “The Beatitudes.” When coupled with the renewal of Baptismal Vows, as they are each All Saints Day, they offer examples off what it is to follow Jesus ad to live out the promises of our baptismal vows. Here is the gospel in its entirety:

Matthew 5:1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people 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, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

From the Baptismal Covenant:

Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
I will, with God’s help.
Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
I will, with God’s help.
Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
I will, with God’s help.
Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
I will, with God’s help.
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
I will, with God’s help.          — BCP 292

The response, “I will, with God’s help” is the key for us, as it has been for God’s people across time and space. May we, with God’s help, continue to find the strength and grace to persevere in our own time.

Let us pray:
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
—Collect for All Saints Day, BCP 245

Peace and blessing,
Carol+