The Flower Arrangement,
Painted by Otto Scholderer (1834-1902),
Painted in 1900
Oil on Canvas
© Art Renewal Centre, New Jersey

The Flower Arrangement,
Painted by Otto Scholderer (1834-1902),
Painted in 1900
Oil on Canvas
© Art Renewal Centre, New Jersey

Gospel of 1 November 2023

All Saints

Matthew 5:1-12a

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

‘How happy are the poor in spirit;

theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy the gentle:

they shall have the earth for their heritage.

Happy those who mourn:

they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:

they shall be satisfied.

Happy the merciful:

they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart:

they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers:

they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:

theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’

Reflection on the painting

As Fr Fernando Ocáriz, Prelate of Opus Dei, said: “All Saints Day is the feast of that quiet and simple sanctity—sanctity without any human splendour—which seems to leave no trace in history, but shines forth before God. It leaves behind in the world a sowing of Love from which nothing is lost.”

It is a beautiful angle from which to consider this day. We should celebrate and pray for all the saints, dead or alive, who may be beatified or not be beatified, but who have done amazing work for Christ. We probably know quite a few people like that around us. People who do the flowers in church every week; people who help with any parish tasks that need doing and just quietly get on with it out of love for God; nurses who do their work with an amazing sense of vocation of caring for others… These are people living saintly lives.

That is why the church chose the Gospel reading of the Beatitudes for this day. The beatitudes are  indeed a compendium of sanctity and a call to it. Pope Francis said: “Jesus invites us to set out on the way of the Beatitudes. It is not a matter of doing extraordinary things, but of following each day this way that leads us to heaven, leads us to our family, leads us home”.

Our painting by German artist Otto Scholderer depicts a lady arranging flowers outside a church: a simple act of love that makes the church look more beautiful, to the glory of God.

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Siobhan Burn
Siobhan Burn(@siobhan-burn)
1 month ago

Congratulations Fr Patrick on your ordination. Thank you for this wonderful reflection illustrated by this beautiful painting. I have shared it with the flower ministry team at the Sacred Heart Sunningdale, where I encourage floral displays to enhance the liturgy each week. So lovely to be appreciated

Jamie Cardinal
Jamie Cardinal(@jamie2023)
1 month ago

All Saints pray for us.
1 November 2023
A video of the Litany of the Saints (Gregorian Chant):

1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie Cardinal

Mooi. Dank u wel.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nik
Noelle Clemens
Noelle Clemens(@jeanne)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie Cardinal

Many thanks, Jamie, that was beautiful.

Chazbo M
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie Cardinal

Brazilian monks 😊

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