The Gospel according to Matthew (5:1-12)
REFLECTION: Today we celebrate one of the most glorious solemnities within our Church! A day in which the Church celebrates all saints: canonized or beatified, and the multitude of those who are in heaven enjoying the radiant vision that is only known to God.
While on earth, these great men and women lived lives that were poor in spirit, filled with a holy mourning, meekness, a hunger and thirst for righteousness, mercy, peace, purity of heart and yes, even persecution. The Gospel today lays out the path by which these saints entered Heaven, and that is through the Beatitudes. Each one of these Beatitudes concludes by stating that He will not abandon those who lived them because He will welcome them in heaven. He will bring them comfort, satisfaction, mercy, and they will see God. God stands on the side of those who are vulnerable and trampled upon. God fortifies those who give their lives away for love’s sake. God does not forget those who pay the cost of caring deeply in a heartless world.
The Beatitudes invite us to the heights of holiness. They are not for the weak of heart or for those living a lukewarm spiritual life. These Beatitudes present us with the peak of holy living and challenge us to the core. But every effort put into living these Beatitudes are worth it here on earth and ultimately in Heaven.
One of my favorite quotations from Saint Teresa of Calcutta is that “holiness is not the luxury of a few people, but a simple duty for you and me.” We are all called to become saints, and we can accomplish that by striving to follow God’s commands and being united with Him in love. To be holy, to be a saint, means allowing God “to live his life in us” as Mother Teresa taught.
So, here we are, rich and poor, hungry and full, laughing and weeping, longing for Him, the Savior, who will gather up our worn-out bodies and call us blessed, who will make us whole and truly alive. Not perfect, plaster saints, but real ones: ragged, wise, and full of grace.
ACTION FOR THE DAY: Today, reflect upon the beautiful truth that you are called to become a saint. And reflect on the surest path to sainthood, the Beatitudes. Read them carefully. Meditate upon them and know that they reveal to you how God is calling you to live. If one of these Beatitudes stands out to you, then spend time focusing on it. Work to internalize these graces, and allow God to work wonders in your life, and God willing this solemnity within our Church may be a true celebration of your life well lived.