EACH OF US CAN BE SAINTS!
(A biblical reflection on the SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS – 1 November 2014
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
First Reading: Revelation 7:2-4,9-14; Psalms: Psalm 24:1-6; Second Reading: 1John 3:1-3
The Scripture Text
Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and when He sat down His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
“Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:1-12 RSV)
In its wisdom, the Church has established feast days that allow us to come together as family and celebrate who we are as the people of God. All Saints Day is one of these special days – a day when we remember those who have gone before us in faith.
The “saints” we celebrate today are not just the martyrs and exceptionally holy people recognized by the Church as canonized saints. Today we celebrate the “holy ones” described in the New Testament as those who believe in Jesus and follow Him. For example, Saint Paul referred to the Christians in Corinth as “those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2). Likewise, he called the Ephesians “the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). In other words, we are celebrating our own high calling and destiny! We all are invited to belong to the “144.000” mentioned in the Book of Revelation (Rev 7:4). This is not a limiting number, but a symbol of the fullness of all the people gathered into God’s Kingdom.
For thousands of years, countless people have spent their lives in love, service, and intercession. Numbered among them is the elderly woman in our Christian community who spends hours praying for others, the parish volunteer who gives free time to teach children about Jesus, and the religious sister who has given her life for the care of the sick and infirm. The list goes on and on.
In His “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus taught the way to sainthood: total trust in God, meekness, hungering for righteousness, being merciful, seeking peace. We can live heaven on earth as we follow in Jesus’ footsteps day after day. The way is hard at times because it means setting aside our own desires. But whenever Jesus calls us to die to ourselves, He gives us His power and leads us to His victory. Each of us can be saints!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, at my baptism You filled me with the Holy Spirit. By this Spirit, help me to devote my life to living the Beatitudes. I praise you for calling me to share Your life forever. Amen.
Jakarta, 31 October 2014
A Christian Pilgrim