revolutionaries

Nov 1, 2023

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On this day, the feast of All Saints, in the year 1541, Michaelangelo‘s Last Judgement was unveiled on the rear wall of the Sistine Chapel.

There was no coincidence in the date: the feast of All Saints was a most appropriate day to dedicate this masterpiece of art.

Michaelangelo’s ceiling tells the story of our salvation history with all its communal and personal ups and downs while the rear wall looks forward to the future eternal reality, to those souls who have embraced eternal life and love with God, and those who reject the eternal fulness of life.

The deepest desire of the human person is not to be free of grief and anxiety but to know, love and to serve God, and to be happy forever. Our human purpose is found when we know and live our desire for God above all else. When we rest with this desire, especially in the midst of struggle, suffering, temptation and even sin we experience God’s presence and peace.

This life is the life of the saint.

With today’s feast we celebrate those who have followed this path on earth, and who now share the eternal fullness of God’s life in the Communion of the Saints.

Twelve months ago on this feast Pope Francis begins his reflecting commenting that as we celebrate this feast “we might have a misleading impression”.

He continues:

“We might think we are celebrating those sisters and brothers who were perfect in life, always straight, precise, or rather “starched”. Instead, today’s Gospel belies this stereotypical view, this “picture-perfect holiness”. In fact, Jesus’ Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:1-12), which are the identity card of the saints, show the complete opposite: they speak of a life that goes against the grain, a revolutionary life! Saints are the true revolutionaries.”

 

2 Comments

  1. Thank you Father John. It lovely to have your reflections back to ponder on during my day.

    Reply
  2. Thnx once again John and thank you for last weekend’s retreat.

    Reply

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