Following is the meditation of Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Most Rev. Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa for Solemnity of All Saints, November 1, 2020 Ordinary Time, Year A:
The poor, meek, afflicted merciful, peaceful: Jesus speaks of them in the Gospel passage that we read on this feast of All Saints (Matthew 5:1-12).
And, speaking of them, Jesus says that they are blessed. He does not say that they are better than others or that they have done something deserving praise. He simply says that they are blessed, that their condition can be considered a good experience, a favorable situation.
The reason is not so apparent and trying to understand means going to the heart of our faith, to the heart of the gaze that Jesus has on life.
Trying to summarize these eight beatitudes, just as they are reported in the Gospel of Matthew, we could say that Jesus considers a good experience, worth living, close to God, that of all those who suffer so that the world may be better; that of all those who are not living for themselves, not so much preoccupied, or only with themselves. They have the destiny of others at heart; they have in their hearts an ardent desire that life is good for all.
Poor in spirit, meek, peacemakers, merciful, hungry for justice: they are not persons for whom life is always smiling, for who things are always good. Rather.
As for so many, for everyone, not even for them does life give discounts and often presents wearisome and painful tricky situations.
But within all this, those are blessed who stay within life without giving in to the temptation of getting rid of their fatigue by loading it on someone else. They remain in life, continuing to hope and look for a better time for all.
Then they are blessed because the experience of fatigue, lived without cursing, becomes the place of their encounter with God, the place where God descends, where He comes near, where He transforms life.
And He does it not as we would want, solving situations, lightening burdens, elimination problems: putting an end to wars, eliminating poverty, abolishing abuses and injustices is not a thing that belongs to God but to us, to man.
In all this, God works mysteriously in the hearts of those who live by spending themselves with love. And so, through them, enlarges the spaces of His Kingdom in the world.
These are the seed of the Kingdom.
Because the passage of the Beatitudes tells us this, tells us that history is made not by the great, not by the powerful, but by the little one, by those poor people who accept to suffer in their bodies the labor pains that bring the Kingdom of God to light.
If something new happens in the world, it comes from below; it comes from them.
Nothing is true creative except what is born from a humble encounter between one’s poverty and the presence of God, from that void which man offers to God as space for Him to act mercifully and powerful.
Today we celebrate all the saints of the Church. We celebrate the people of the beatitudes, all those who in more diverse ways have believed in that joy that happens unexpectedly, often without a real reason, when one has an experience of grace.
A joy that, at times, also happens in the depth of sorrow, and it is a pure gift.
It is not reserved only till tomorrow, to when everything will be over or resolved.
It is already present deep into death, as a certainty of something that goes beyond; as a humble certainty of the meaning of a life that, when lived with the tones of love (of which the beatitudes are the most concrete declination), can only be a real-life, a beautiful and happy life, and therefore an eternal life.