gospel reflection

ALL SAINTS

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Perhaps our Gospel this week is one of the most famous. It’s a litany really – a litany of holiness. In the context of our feast day today, the beatitudes are the answer to the question – how do you become holy ? how do you become a saint? The problem is, when we speak about becoming saints, we tend to think that this is just so far beyond anything we could do. We put the saints of pedestals – literally. Look around our churches, there they are lovingly surrounding us each time we enter our buildings. But does all this adulation of the saints frighten us when we hear the suggestion that we too might become saints?

Should we really be fearful?  Do you know that all the saints were similarly perturbed at the thought that they too might one day become saints? After all, each of the saints of the Church have been sinners. Each of them has been flesh and blood, just like us, each of them has had strengths and weaknesses, each of them have suffered disappointments, each has had desires, longings, vanities and eccentricities. All of them begun that way, none has been born a saint. Each of them has gained sanctity not by skill or  intelligence, but by realising that, without God, they were nothing. The path to Sainthood begins that way always, with the acknowledgment that God knows what’s best for us better than we do.

Fr John

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