Intermediate: Solemnity of All Saints

Download PDF

Intermediate Session
Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14
Matthew 5:1-12

Opening Prayer
Let us Pray.
God of holiness,
Thank you for the many people who work to bring about your kingdom here on earth. We are blessed by the examples of these people who show us how to live in your ways. Help us be humble in our walk through life, that we too may serve you and begin the kingdom of heaven here on earth. In communion with all the saints and through Jesus we pray, Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
Create a card for someone who has recently lost a friend or relative. Either in words or through an illustration, show that their loved one is part of the community of saints. Assure the person of your prayers and power of the loved one’s example in your life or the lives of others.

• What are some qualities of people you have known that are like saints?
• How have saints, either well known or little known, been an example for you?
• What qualities of a saint do you show others?

Share responses to these questions. Allow time to share cards and something about the life of the person who died.

Listening to the Word of God
In a vision, John sees a large number of holy people gathered around the throne of God.

Read Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• What do you think is significant about the number of the people gathered?
• Why is what they are wearing important to the vision?
• Why do you think John calls Jesus the “Lamb of God”?

In what is often called “The Sermon On the Mount” Jesus describes a way for the people to live so that they might be part of the kingdom of God.

Read Matthew 5:1-12
Allow for silence.

• Why are Jesus’ ideas so different for the people listening?
• What are some real-life examples in our own time for these beatitudes?
• How will we be rewarded for living according to these words?

Scripture background
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings using the Catechist Background section.

John describes a very large crowd of people gathered around the throne of God. Jesus, the Lamb of God is by the throne. An angel places the seal of God on the forehead of God’s servants which will provide protection for them at the time of judgment. The people of the crowd wear white robes indicating that they have been washed clean of their sins by the blood of the Lamb. They wave palm branches that symbolize their victory over evil and their thankfulness to God. We understand that the people of this great crowd are those who were faithful to God in their lives and will now spend eternity with God.

In “The Sermon on the Mount” Jesus preaches the opposite idea of what people know. In the culture of Jesus’ day and in our day still, greatness was acquired through wealth and power. Rich, strong, and powerful people were usually the leaders. Jesus tells us the opposite in this gospel. If we are to be great in the kingdom of God, we must be humble. It will be the poor, the weak, and the lowly who will live forever with God.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• Who are the poor, weak and powerless in our world today that Jesus might be thinking of in this passage?
• How have we seen others care for the poor and weak? What can we do from their example?
• What one beatitude do you need to improve in your own life?

[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Communion of Saints

The Second Vatican Council made it clear that we, as Christians, are all one Body in Christ and that we are all called to a life of holiness. There are some people in the Body of Christ who, through a formal procedure, are recognized as especially holy. These Saints are our companions in prayer. They are patrons of groups of people and they serve as models for how we will live. However, we are all called to this same holiness and are challenged to witness God’s kingdom through our own actions and words. On All Saints Day, we celebrate the lives of the many people who influenced our lives and serve as models for us. They may be living or dead. They may be well-known or known only to us.

• How do saints guide us?
• Why is it important to remember the lives of those who have died?
• What are some things in our lives that stunt our growth in holiness?

Sacrament Connection
When we approach the table to receive Eucharist, we process together as the Body of Christ. Together we gather around the table in communion. As we prepare to receive the sacrament, we honestly state that we are unworthy, but really want to try to live as God wants us to; indeed, as we are instructed in the beatitudes of today’s gospel. In the Eucharist, we become one with Jesus and join with one another in taking the love of Jesus into the world even as we leave the building of the church.

The Gospel in Life
Look again at the beatitudes in today’s gospel. Select the one that needs the most attention in your life and practice living it this week.

Posted in: Sessions A , Sessions B , Sessions C