November 1, 2014 – All Saints Day
Let me begin this All Saints Day reflection with a few quotes from second graders. Second graders in a Catholic school were asked the question, “What is a saint?” Here are a few of their responses:
“A saint is a special person God made better than everyone else. Well, not better like better looking or faster, but nicer.”
“Saints have special genes and chromadomes (I think chromosomes is what the child was going for) that make them really holy.”
“Saints are God’s friends.”
“Saints are people who are in heaven waiting to become angels. Right now they don’t have wings.”
“Saints can be boys or girls. I think there are probably more girl saints than boy saints on account of girls are nicer.”
“Saints are dead people who used to pray alot.”
We are older and wiser, so we know a little bit more about saints. Yet, we often think of saints as super human as well. We certainly don’t view them as “like us.”
God did not crank out a certain number of saints – these people will be saints, these people will be criminals, etc. Saints were not created any differently than you or I. We are all created in the image and likeness of God.
The only difference between us and saints is that saints “got it.” At some point in their lives, they understood their mission. They saw clearly where their focus needed to be and lived their lives accordingly. They took the focus off of themselves and placed it on God and others.
We all struggle with “getting it.” It’s tough, because most often “getting it” means sacrificing self. It means putting our own needs aside in service to others.
Pope Francis recently said, “A healthy church looks outside of itself.”
We are the church to which he is referring.