Tuesday, November 1, 2011

01. thankful - all saints day.

"None of us came to our faith alone. None of us knows the love of Jesus Christ because we thought it up by ourselves. We know Jesus and we became children of God because someone else knew him first and told us about him. Because someone else had faith before us. This is the beauty of the family of the Church. This is the mystery of the Communion of Saints. St. Paul said, 'We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.' This tells us something more about our faith. Faith is a gift that God gives to each one — but this gift can only reach us through the witness of others."

- Archbishop Jose Gomez

this past sunday's gospel reading focused on the concept of service - "the greatest among you must be the servant of all" (mt 23:11). however, we do not accept this concept of servant kindly, probably because we liken it to slavery. we'd prefer to be the masters. the ones in control.

to be a servant of God means our focus must be primarily orientated toward the other - to God, our families, our friends, our acquaintances, our neighbors, perfect strangers, even our enemies. today we celebrate the men and women who were, and are, faithful to His words, who's lives are the perfect example of servitude. they are the saints who embraced the concept of holiness and service in the realest way, modeling their lives after the ultimate model of the Servant of God, Jesus Christ.

a saint is not one who does extraordinary things, but one who does ordinary things extraordinarily well. a saint is a sinner. but a sinner who has been recycled, refashioned, and remolded into the likeness of Christ. a saint is not always canonized. a saint is not always recognized. all saints are servants of God though. they are real, human people that lived their lives on earth like the rest of us but they longed for heaven and focused their entire being, their fullest potential, on encountering and serving the hidden Christ in all of us. we must do this too. we are all called to be saints. we are all favored and loved by God.

i love the saints. i love them because they remind me of who i am and what i could be. they remind me of what Jesus can do with me, in me, through me. i love that we can't escape their example. i love that their names constantly surround us - holidays, countries, cities, universities, schools, and churches are named after them. but do we pray to saints? no, we pray with them. just like when you ask someone to pray for you when you were having a hard time. we pray with them because we trust them, we want to follow them, we want to have that same relationship, that closeness, with God that they have.  

today, i challenge you to pretend you're wearing a name tag but put the word saint in front of your name. try it out. get used to it. acknowledge your call to holiness.
"Keep in mind that our community is not composed of those who are already saints, but of those who are trying to become saints. Therefore, let us be extremely patient with each other's faults and failures."
- Mother Teresa
(my favoritest soon-to-be saint)

1 friskies:

Caitlin said...

does this mean you'll be doing a month of thankful posts? yesss!

love this, love you and love all saint's day!