The Gospel According to John 6:37-40
“All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from Heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Reflection: What is the unique characteristic common to every Saint? You don’t have to be super-smart to be a saint. St Christina the Astonishing was developmentally impaired, and yet she became a spiritual adviser to rulers and peasants alike. St Joseph Cupertino needed a literal miracle to pass his theology exams.
It certainly isn’t good looks. St Rita of Cascia, a widow who entered the convent, was given a mystical vision of Christ’s passion. Afterwards she experienced on her own forehead one of the wounds caused by Christ’s crown of thorns.
She bore the open wound on her face for the last decades of her life, and it was ugly and smelly and yet, her spiritual beauty spread like sunlight all throughout Italy and down through the century. The unique characteristic of saints isn’t even a great personality. St Pio of Pietralcina was ornery and temperamental. He used to be harsh and demanding even when he was hearing confessions. And yet, sinners from all over the world were drawn to his confessional.
The unique characteristic isn’t wealth and worldly success – we do have canonized saints who were empresses, but we also have those who were hermits and beggars. The characteristic shared by all the saints, the one sure sign of mature holiness, is none of those things. Rather, it is the truly amazing ability to experience deep joy even in the middle of terrible sorrow.
This is what Jesus means when he says that those who are poor, in mourning, and persecuted are blessed. Holiness is a mature friendship with Jesus Christ, a friendship so deep and strong that it allows us to experience the joy of eternal life even while still fighting the painful battles of our earthly exile. So, there is hope for all of us. We all have the ability to become a saint.
Action of the Day: In every Mass our prayers are joined with all the angels and saints, thanking God, and asking for grace. Today, as Christ in the Eucharist once again lays a bridge between heaven and earth, let us lift our eyes to the Triumph, and let our hearts rejoice.