This year, Nov. 1, the Solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Sunday. The solemnity supersedes the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time and offers Lectionary readings unique to its themes. All the readings focus on our status as "children of God" (second reading) called into loving and eternal relationship with God and with all those who belong to God.
Responsorial Psalm 24 invites us all to sing, "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face." Together we express our longing to be face to face with God as we strive to live Jesus' lifestyle and values. The Gospel reading from Matthew specifies those values in terms of the beatitudes. We are to live with total reliance on God, no matter what life may bring.
Jesus invites all his followers to embrace values and lifestyles that are essential to making the reign of God real and practical in our everyday lives. The beatitudes counter the typical manner of thinking that we often appropriate from our culture and surroundings. Such countercultural statements seem so unrealistic and foreign to us that we often wonder whether Jesus knew what he was talking about.