Clicking on the links below will bring you to the Sunday Mass readings published by the USCCB; scroll down the USCCB page to find the Gospel readings.
Through the lens of Heaven
All Saints’ Day begins the last month of the liturgical year. This is a good time to meditate on Heaven and our journey there.
On the first day of November, we think about all those who have completed their journey and are now happy forever. How did they get there? They followed the way of Christ which is the way of the Beatitudes. (Mt 5: 1-12a) They were poor, mourning, meek, hungering, merciful, pure, peacemakers, and persecuted.
Do you have any ideas about what Heaven is like? The Gospel for the first Sunday of November (Lk 20:27-38) gives us a glimpse. The Sadducees can only think in earthly terms. We can get stuck that way, too. Jesus wants us to think about who we are and where we are going. We are children of God and we are going to a place where there is no death only abundant life.
We need to remember the route plan (the Beatitudes) and the goal (abundant life) to get us through the rough times. In the second to last week of the liturgical year, Jesus reminds us that here on earth we will all experience trouble and difficulty. (Lk 21:5-19) But do not lose hope. Keep going and you will gain life in abundance.
In the last Sunday of the year, we celebrate Christ the King. In the Gospel (Lk 23:35-43) he doesn’t look much like a King. He is dying a painful and shameful death. Those around him are mocking him and his title of King. Yet one man—a criminal—turns to him and says, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” In return for acknowledging that Jesus is King, the man is received into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus is King of everything but probably some of his favorite titles are King of Repentant Sinners and King of Mercy.