Primary: Solemnity of All Saints

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Primary Session
Matthew 5:1-12

Opening Prayer
Let us Pray.
Loving God,
You send so many people to show us how to live. We know that we are all members of your family. We ask that you help us live like the good people who are with you now. May you know our love for you by the way we act. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our greatest example. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
Share information about the patron saint of your parish or some other saint that has special meaning for you or your group. Make a list of the qualities this person had.
• What are some qualities you have that are similar to this saint?
• In what way was this person ordinary like us?
• In what way is this saint a model for us?

In small groups, share responses to these questions. You may expand this idea by sending participants out to interview others in the parish asking the same questions. Come back together and share what you’ve heard.

Listening to the Word of God
Jesus gives the people a message that is different for them. The beatitudes in this passage are mostly opposite from what people thought.

Read Matthew 5:1-12
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• What ideas and actions does Jesus reject in today’s gospel?
• What is surprising to the people when they hear the words of Jesus?
• According to Jesus, how will weak and powerless people be rewarded?

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

Jesus promises his listeners (and us, too!) a share of God’s kingdom in the future. In today’s gospel, Jesus describes how we must act in order to live forever with God. The ideas and actions Jesus presents sound different to the people on the mountain and even to us today because they are different from ideas in our culture. It will be those who are poor, weak and without power who will be with God. Jesus wants us to understand that we must change our ideas of earthly goods to the humble holiness of the kingdom.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• Who are the poor, weak and powerless in our world today that Jesus might be thinking of in this passage?
• Who has brought peace or mercy to your life?
• Which of these qualities best describes you? Why?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Communion of Saints

The communion of saints includes all people of the Church. Together we form one body. It is true that there is a formal procedure that honors certain people in our history who are especially holy. These people 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 holiness and 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.

• Why is it important for us to recognize saints and look to them for guidance?
• How are people who have died still a part of our lives?
• What does the “communion of saints” look like to you?

Sacrament Connection
Few sacraments in our church depict us as “body” like communion does. In the sacrament of the Eucharist, we gather around the table as one body. 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.

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