Fr. Gerard’s Corner
Sainthood would seem to be a very exclusive club, like the Hall of Fame or a group of Lifetime Achievement winners, but the communion of saints is actually much larger than just the saints formally recognized by the Catholic Church. John’s vision in Revelation of an uncountable multitude gives a good picture of those in the presence of the Lord for eternity. Each and every one of us can aspire to this outcome; it is not restricted to those who live unimaginably exceptional lives. For all we know, there may be thousands of saints for every saint who has actually been canonized. We are all called to be saints, so let us strive to be holy in our nevertheless ordinary lives.
“My kingdom does not belong to this world,” Jesus said to Pilate before he was sentenced to death (John 18:36). The Beatitudes begin and end with references to the kingdom of heaven. Jesus promises heaven to those who are poor in spirit. Their poverty makes them dependent upon God’s mercy and so they grow in trust in the Lord. He also assures the kingdom of heaven to those who are persecuted for the pursuit of righteousness. They spend their lives opposing the cynical, indifferent, and corrupt people who are content to see wickedness thrive. Truly, they are confessing an allegiance to a kingdom beyond this world.
In November we remember all those who have died. In fact, tomorrow we celebrate today’s complement. The communion of saints joins us together with those in heaven in a spiritual family. What’s more, as John puts it in his first letter, the saints in heaven are like God, for they see God truly and purely. As we are joined with them in one spiritual family, we are spiritually related to those who are like God. May this inspire us to pursue the ideals that are the Beatitudes during our life here on earth.
Fr. Gerard Lecomte, CJM