“Made Holy By The Holy One”
Saint Matthew 5. 1-12
All Saints Day [observed]: 2 November Anno + Domini 2014
Fr. Jay Watson SSP
In The + Name of Jesus
“These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” [Rev.7.14]
“And seeing the multitudes (‘for God so loved the world’), He went up into a mountain.” Jesus ascends a hilltop to teach and preach that which He will shortly give to His own on another hilltop. He gives unto His own disciples (the followers He has chosen and selected) the blessings—the beatitudes—of royal sonship. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon [you], that [you] should be called the sons of God.” [1 Jn. 3.1] All that the Son of God is and has He credits and bestows to His own by His Gracious mercy and abundant giving. The faith He creates in His children, in you, makes them, makes you, truly Saints. You receive Sainthood!
To be a saint, “Sanctus” in the Latin and “Hagios” in the Greek means to be separate, apart, chosen, designated, proclaimed and made special—plucked out from all that which is not—and declared Holy! Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus—Holy, Holy, Holy, is not just the song of the Seraphim but also the theme music and family lullaby of all Christ’s brethren! It will be your dinner anthem at The Eucharist.
The world, thanks to Adams sin and your sins, is in thralldom to Satan—brood-like. The world does not know God and cannot know or accept God by works or nature. A “sovereign” universe creator may in fact be perceived by the “things of God,” natural revelation, but the Father and The + Son and the Holy Ghost are only received by revelation of The Word!
You want to be rich. You lust after mammon. You put many things ahead of The Lord every day. You go great stretches of time not even giving The Christ a second thought. When you are confronted by The Law and the requirements to be rich only towards God you think you can be poor in spirit by works of self-abnegation and busy-body charitable activity. No. By the works of men’s hands no one will be saved.
You are to love your neighbor perfectly. You are to mourn for your enemies and adversaries. You are to turn the cheek when smitten. You are to feed the hungry (even if they’re illegal or diseased). You are to forgive those who have hurt you. You are to put down your weapons of revenge and fear. You are to grind your spears and swords into pruning hooks. But you don’t. And, when you are confronted by the mirror of the Commandments you self-justify and make excuses…and then you again attempt to live the Beatitudes by your discipline and your self-holiness completely missing their whole point and The Holy One Himself.
All Saints Day is important and needed because you need to know about Saints and Holiness. You need to hold tight the Holy Christ Who holds you tight. Only God is Holy and worthy of worship and praise. His Saints are famous and larger-than-life sometimes: Irenaeus, Jerome, Augustine, Francis of Assisi, Bernard of Clairvaux, Gerhardt, and Korby. His Saints are your great-grandparents, parents, brothers, nieces, land-lords, employees, garbage collectors, grocery clerks, cabbies and hospital orderlies. His Saints are those He has loved before time and space began; those He has pre-destinated to come to faith IN CHRIST, by Faith, through the Word heard and the Word made effective by the power of The Holy Ghost. His Saints are those He has initiated and + birthed at Holy Mother Church’s womb—the 8-sided font—and then fed the milk of sustenance in the Holy Scriptures until later fed the meat of Doctrine, Holy Dogma and Sacrament! His Saints are the ones who He has given the eyes of faith see “another angel ascending from the east; the east of Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Augsburg’s altar facing the rising of the sun every morning; having the seal of the living God—your Sign of the Cross!
Because Jesus was poor in spirit—lowly and meek and obedient to The Father; because Jesus mourned for all His wayward creatures, as He wept over Jerusalem, as a hen seeketh to gathereth her chicks; because Jesus hungered to feed His flock on the Bread from Heaven and The Water from the Rock; because Jesus was merciful forgiving all his enemies even those who pierced Him and jeered Him; because Jesus was pure in Sacred Heart and saw God at the Jordan in His Father’s voice and the Spirit’s descent; and because Jesus made peace between all of you and Your Father: you are blessed, you are Holy, i.e. a Saint! Christ’s Peace is the Atonement for your rebellion. The Prince of Peace becomes the paschal lamb.
Blessed are you Saints because The Holy One was persecuted. Blessed are you Holy ones because The Saintly One, Righteousness enfleshed, was slain in His immaculate Flesh and Holy Blood. He had all manner of evil spoken against Him falsely. He was reviled and persecuted and crucified. The Lamb was slain.
And you stand “before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in [your] hands; and cry with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.’” Along with martyrs and confessors and Saints of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, you “have washed your robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” “Since we are compassed (surrounded) by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” [Heb.12.1-2]
“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Rejoice this day for it is a foretaste of the Feast to come!
“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, Augsburg’s very altar, shall feed [you], and shall lead [you] unto living fountains of waters in His True Body and most Precious Blood. Here and hereafter “God [wipes] all tears from [your] eyes.”
In The Name of The Father and of The + Son and of The Holy Ghost