When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Paul often addresses those he writes as “Saints” or “Holy Ones.” He is not writing to the dead who are in heaven but to the living, fallible Christians who are ‘saints’ because they have ‘washed their robes in the blood of the lamb,’ that is, they have been baptized.
It’s a good idea today to reflect on those ‘official’ Saints – with a capital ‘S’ – with whom we have some special connection. Mary, perhaps, or St. Paul. Who are they – what did they do in their lives – but also who are they to me? Is there something from my history that makes me want them as models or friends?
But it’s also a good idea today to reflect on those unofficial saints – with a small ‘s’ – with whom I have a personal connection. Who are the holy ones of my life, whether they are now with God or are currently living, perhaps in my home, or neighborhood, or city, or world. What do I admire in them, and why do I want them as models or friends? And don’t forget, then, to thank God for them.
—Fr. Dennis Dillon, S.J. serves as pastoral minister at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also an avid stamp collector and accomplished magician.
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