Ap 7:2-4.9-14; 1 Jn 3:1-3; Mt 5:1-12a
In a homily for this feast in 2006 Pope Benedict referred to a homily of the great St Bernard who said: The Saints have no need of honour from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs.... But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.
Yes, that is certainly so. We might adapt the words of Preface IV for weekdays and say: Our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to their greatness but makes us desire to grow in your grace.
At heart this desire is for growth in communion and the road to this communion is traced out in the Gospel today. The beatitudes are really a description of Jesus. He is truly the gentle, the merciful, the pure One who was abused and persecuted because he hungered and thirsted for what is right. It goes without saying that those of us who seek him must walk the way of the beatitudes.
The Church is God’s household - in heaven, on earth and in purgatory. To celebrate one part of it is to celebrate the whole because we are all one in him, bearing his seal on our foreheads. Let this feast inflame each one of us with the tremendous yearning St Bernard spoke of and may it renew our desire to walk the Christian way.
By Sue Wright