A Reading from the Book of Revelation (7:9-17)
After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
> Note: All Saints Day can be celebrated the Sunday which follows.
> The first eight verses is the scene of a large crowd that happens to number 144,000.
> The twelve tribes are being sealed by God.
> By verse nine the victory had already been won!
> Apocalyptic literature is often vivid with bizarre visions written during times of persecution.
> These readings are not trying to predict the future as some people imagine.
> Two words can sum up the Book of Revelations: “We win!”
> Palm branches were a sign of victory.
> Revelations is full of free-flowing imagery.
Psalm 34:1-10, 22
1 I will bless the Lord at all times; *
his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
2 I will glory in the Lord; *
let the humble hear and rejoice.
3 Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord;*
let us exalt his Name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me *
and delivered me out of all my terror.
5 Look upon him and be radiant, *
and let not your faces be ashamed.
6 I called in my affliction and the Lord heard me *
and saved me from all my troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encompasses those who fear him, *
and he will deliver them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; *
happy are they who trust in him!
9 Fear the Lord you that are his saints, *
For those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger, *
but those who seek the Lord lack nothing that is good.
22 The Lord ransoms the life of his servants, *
and none will be punished who trust in him.
> These verses are an acrostic – each line in Hebrew starts with one of the letters of the alphabet.
> The first ten verses highlight a personal experience of redemption.
> Everyone is invited in to praise the Lord.
A Reading from the First Letter of John (3:1-3)
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
> Chapters one and two talk about the children being believers of God as well.
> If you are a child of God you are then expected to live a certain way.
> There are lots of “hes” referred to… It is hard to know if it is referring to God the Father or to Jesus.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to 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.”
> These are Matthew’s version of the beatitudes.
> It is the introduction to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
> It is distinctly different from Luke’s “Sermon on the Plain.”
> Matthew portrays Jesus as the new Moses.
> There are lots of quotes from the Old Testament.
> Matthew’s poor have a total dependence on God.
> The meek will inherit the land is also found in Psalm 37.
> The pure in heart is also found in Psalm 24, etc.
> Late Old Testament times is when the idea of resurrection began.
> These verses serve to both predict the future as well as set behavioral demands for us.