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I had opportunity recently to visit the graves of my parents, and I got to thinking of the Gospel text for this Sunday when we will read the Beatitudes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. In the original Greek text each verse begins with a word that is commonly translated as "Blessed" but which can also mean "Happy." My parents were certainly not blessed in the way many people think of the word; they had no wealth to speak of and their last home was a simple mobile home. But if asked, they would have said that they considered themselves blessed and they were certainly happy in spite of challenges they had faced.
The lessons for this All Saints Sunday challenge us to reflect on what we mean by happiness and blessedness when matched up to the words of Jesus. At this time we remember those who have died in this past year and consider what it means to be one of the saints of God in our contemporary world.