Although November First calls on me to say something about All Saints, I am drawn instead to say something about St. Matthew’s wonderful Gospel about the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew wrote this Gospel to show that Jesus, even though he cured on the Sabbath and pardoned those who did not follow kosher, could not be accused of trying to abolish the Law and the Prophets.
With the Sermon on the Mount, Mathew showed us that rather than abandoning the law and the Prophets, Jesus completed them.
Mathew described what Jesus did in today’s Gospel to mirror what happened with Moses on Mount Sinai. Moses had gone up the mountain, gathering the leaders around him, while the people stayed below; then, he began with his famous one-liners, the Ten Commandments.
Echoing that, Jess went up the mountain, gathering his disciples around him, while the people stayed below. Then, Jesus opened up with his famous one-liners, the Beatitudes.
We can say that Moses inaugurated the Old Covenant with the Ten Commandments, while Jesus opened the New Covenant with the Beatitudes.
Unfortunately, our Church chooses to stay on the level of the Old Covenant, preaching at us about keeping the Commandments. But, luckily once a year, with All Saints Day, we do honor the saints who qualified as New Covenant People by living the Beatitudes.