We begin this month of “prayers for the dead” by celebrating those saints who have gone before us. Each year the Church gives us the Gospel of the Beatitudes. Jesus is the New Moses who ascends the Mountain to speak out the necessary attitudes of being to follow him. Every saint has followed Jesus in his way of life and now receives their just rewards, where they go we hope to follow.

These beatitudes are the very heart of Jesus expressed to us in his life and ministry. As Jesus declares the blessedness of such people, he is stating that those who are obedient and live out these beatitudes are deeply joyful and experience well being. It is more than just being happy, blessedness points to an interior attitude of heart mind and body. As Rabbi, he takes his seat and teaches the disciples the following beatitudes- a common position of the Jewish Rabbi. As we reflect upon his words, it seems a tall order to follow.

Being poor, meek, mournful, hungry, thirsty, persecuted are in facts ways of blessedness-fullness of well being. It is a stark contrast to what the world teaches us to follow. The world teaches us to compete, strive, achieve, and succeed. These are all exceptional qualities of the human being. However, we must consider these in the light of Jesus’ teaching. Otherwise, they are folly.

All of us are called to be saints. The saints we remember today were very normal people like us. However, the saint is a sinner open to the transcendent grace and power of the Lord. Their weakness is transformed, and sanctified. They seek to follow Jesus not counting the cost. Think of your own patron saint. Did they fit these criteria of the beatitudes? Seek their intercession today that you would be a person of the Beatitudes.

 

You are a saint by virtue of your baptism. How do you live up to that privilege?

 

God our Father, You call us to be saints. Sanctify our lives and let us live the way of holiness. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.