Soul Food for Sundays

A Reflection for All Saints’ Day (1st November 2020)

1st November 2020
MT 5: 1-12A

The Author: Mary Coffey
calendar_today Date: October 23, 2020 - 2 minutes read

MT 5: 1-12A ( )


“Bake Off’ has become an increasingly popular TV programme in our home. It is a celebration of imagination and skill in food- preparation and presentation. Our interest is in its ‘show-stopper’ section, in which the contestants showcase their creativity and skill in interpreting a challenge to produce the showstopping item which will win a place in the next week’s contest. Our conversation revolves around not only the skills evidenced and the creativity demonstrated in the various interpretations of a ‘biscuit’, ‘bread’ or ‘meringue’ challenge;  we reflect on the contribution to the group that individuals make, and this leads to conversation about the ingredients necessary to evidence community.

The Christian community celebrates holiness. We are reminded today that the Church is holy, and that its challenge is to evidence the holiness of God by living as Jesus taught.  Holiness is not always seen in extraordinary feats and events, but in the daily acts of love of God and of neighbour. Saints offer us models of holiness, they offer insights into the love of God in their lives which point to a context for others, to live and love.

The church celebrates its ‘showstoppers’. On the feast of All Saints, those who have been proclaimed saints and those who lived and died in the fullness of faith and love are honoured today by the Church. ‘Showstoppers’ are our models for the possible ways to live holy lives.

In today’s gospel Jesus proclaims the beatitudes, the necessary ingredients to achieve holiness, the way of life destined to lead to God. The ingredients allow each person to adapt to the requirements of the day and the challenges presented. This method of teaching encourages each one to call on her / his own skill and creativity in being generous in attitude and in action. Remaining alert to and aware of self, surroundings and circumstances allowed the saints to interpret the teachings in the beatitudes and respond, using their particular skills to achieve ‘showstopping’ and address the challenges faced.

Is the ‘showstopping’ challenge apparent?   What recipe will I use to meet the challenge? Having the ingredients (beatitudes) and knowing my strengths and vulnerabilities, I look to the story (method) of the saint who inspires and informs my interpretation.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

The Spiritans Emblem

Mary Coffey

Mary is a professional supervisor, guest lecturer in Chaplaincy Studies in DCU, and placement supervisor in the Healthcare Chaplaincy Programme in St. Patrick's College, Maynooth. She is the chairperson of the board of management of Templeogue College.