Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary - Homilies

"Let us truly live the Kingdom and come fully alive for God!"
Homily for the 31st Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Fr. Jonathan L. Reardon
November 1, 2011
Year A

There is great significance found in the actions of Our Lord in today’s Gospel. As crowds gather to listen to His teaching, He goes up a mountain to deliver His message. St. Matthew tells us that Jesus sat down, assuming the posture of a rabbi, a teacher. The presence of a vast crowd indicates that His message was not just meant for the disciples, but for all people. His message is delivered on a mountain, often a place of divine revelation. Going up the mountain to teach brings to mind Moses going up Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. Matthew thus portrays Jesus as the new Moses, going up the mountain not to receive the law but to give it. The characteristics of which are different than the Commandments. The law Jesus gives is not written on stone but rather, on our hearts.
His law is the law of grace, the object of which and its end is happiness, or beatitude. The word used for beatitude in this passage is not meant to convey a certain level of emotional happiness. Rather, it is meant to convey a deeply rooted happiness in terms of a praiseworthy situation; that commends one for taking a certain path or to those in affliction, future consolation. What Jesus does is identify the underlying characteristics and attitudes of being a true disciple and He commends those who take this path, He encourages those who are suffering to follow this path. They are in a praiseworthy situation because God will bring them both to a greater beatitude, the happiness of eternal life. In so doing, St. Matthew frames the beatitudes with one concept, the Kingdom of Heaven. While the list of the beatitudes indicates several levels of happiness, all are part of the one supreme, central blessing of the Kingdom.

Ultimately, what the beatitudes portray is Christ Himself. He is poor, merciful, meek, righteous, persecuted. As Pope Benedict describes in his book Jesus of Nazareth, they “display the mystery of Christ himself, and they call us into communion with him.”
The saints are those who took this path that lead up the mountain, those who suffered for being on this treacherous road, and are those who received the reward for their discipleship. The beatitudes reveal to us that which is necessary to become fully alive for God, what it takes to truly live as His children. The saints are those who lived this reality completely. Living in such a manner, they reflected the goodness of God. The light of their love is nothing other than God’s own light, helping us to know Him better and to know with greater depth the interior richness of God’s love.

What we often forget is that we are all called, not just called but meant to live this beatitude. We are meant for beatitude, meant for the happiness of the Kingdom – it is God’s gift to His children, the blessing of which is Himself – His meekness, His peacefulness, His mercy, His poverty, His righteousness, His persecution, His joy. This is His gift to us even in the midst of the struggles of this life because it is His gift to us for all eternity. The experience of the Kingdom in the here and now is the hope of the beatitude of eternity. “In our prayer and in all our Christian life, we should let ourselves be helped and sustained and encouraged by the ‘ministering angels’ who lift their prayers to God…” for they are the saints, who once walked this earth in the same way we do, they are the ones who once struggled to live as true disciples, they are the ones who fully realized man’s true dignity as Children of God, they are the ones who lived the law of grace from their hearts and they are the ones who lived the Kingdom and have been rewarded the Kingdom.
As we honor the saints this day, let implore their help, ask for their prayers – for they never stop interceding for us before the Throne of Grace – so that we too may be able to in our lives, reflect His light, His goodness, His love, truly live the Kingdom and come fully alive for God!






Fr. Jon Reardon


Rev. Jonathan L. Reardon is a priest for the diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts.
He serves at Sacred Heart Parish in Pittsfield, MA.




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