— Solemnity: All Saints —

“When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.” (Matthew 5:1)

In an ancient work known as the Incomplete Work on Matthew, an anonymous Ancient Christian Writer (ACW) offers the following insight on these verses from today’s Gospel:

“Wasn’t he able to teach right there where the people were? He went up on the mountain for two specific reasons. First, that he might fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah, who said, “Go up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings.” Next, that he might show the mystery of love. For his ascent signifies the height of virtue. He therefore went up the mountain to show us that whoever teaches and whoever hears God’s way of justice must stand on the height of spiritual virtues. The one who teaches must himself be an example of his words, so he may teach more by his works than his words, as the apostle says to Timothy: “Set the believers an example.” The one who walks in the valley of earthly life, however, treads on obscure pathways and speaks high-flown words: He does not teach anyone but chastens himself. For no one can stand in the valley and speak from a mountain. Speak from where you take your stand. Take your stand from where you are speaking.” (Incomplete Work on Matthew, «Homily 9»)

It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give You thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For today by Your gift we celebrate
the festival of your city,
the heavenly Jerusalem, our mother,
where the great array
of our brothers and sisters
already gives you eternal praise.
Towards her, we eagerly hasten,
as pilgrims advancing by faith,
rejoicing in the glory
bestowed upon those exalted members
of the Church through whom you give us,
in our frailty, both strength and good example.

And so, we glorify You
with the multitude of Saints and Angels,
as with one voice of praise we acclaim.

Almighty ever-living God,
by whose gift we venerate in one celebration
the merits of all the Saints,
bestow on us, we pray,
through the prayers of so many intercessors,
an abundance of the reconciliation with You
for which we earnestly long.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen