Saturday – November 1, 2014: ALL Saints Day

Matthew 5:1-12

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.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

In the Beatitudes Jesus tells us that all of us are blessed…right here in the midst of our own lives, despite any failings we may have or any mistakes that we may have made.

On this day that we remember all the saints in our lives: those who have gone on to glory, but who’s love and teachings still stay with us, and those who are alive and with us in our lives!!!

And that includes our children, our friends, family, strangers, and ourselves!!

We are ALL saints, as we are all living in the light of God’s gracious love, the light of the resurrected Christ!!

Sometimes, it can be hard to think of everyone as being ‘saints’ from the person who cuts you off in traffic, counting their pennies at the check-out, or those who have different political or religious beliefs than we do….or are just plain rude and have different ideas about how to raise children and who may even say that it is wrong for us to be raising our children alone.

It is easy for us to see those we have loved and lost as saints, and to view those we like and admire who are still with us as saintly, but it is harder to see those we do not like or agree with than saints; and it can be even harder to accept that everyone we see, can also be considered to be a saint!

However, if we truly believe that we are ALL well-loved children of God, then we are certainly ALL saints…even the jerks and the inconsiderate….no one said we had to be perfect in order to be saints!

If we look at the well-known saints, like Paul, Peter, Francis, etc., we can see many flaws, many failings…but these only serve to make the grace and forgiveness of God shine all the brighter!

As parents (single or otherwise) we know that our children do not always act like saints, as they can push our buttons like no one else, and can cause us no end to worry, frustration and heartache. Yet, they can also give us no end of love and joy as well, and it is these times of struggle that makes the good times of love that we share together so much more meaningful!

As fellow human beings in our world, we have to live and interact with all kinds of people, most are strangers, some who can sometimes rub us the wrong way, and many we do not even give a second thought to…not because we lack compassion, but because we simply have no opportunity to get to know them, and have enough on our own plates to deal with.

It can help us if we can remember that everyone we see can be considered as part of our family, another well-loved child of God, a saint!! This also includes those we do not like…and those who have hurt us and betrayed our trust…like our ex’s and those who would criticize us for not raising our children in a partnered family!

Seeing everyone as a saint, can enable us to offer these people the compassion and forgiveness given to us through Christ, who shines the light of God’s freely given grace into our lives and world!

And we can extend that compassion and forgiveness to ourselves, as we too are saints…in spite of our own failings and faults. As a single parent, I can be very hard on myself for my daughter’s mistakes. When I see her going in a direction that I do not like, and feel is bad for her, I can tend to blame myself (of course it IS all about me!) as I raised her, shared my faith and values with her, and still she has gone astray more times than I would like to admit.

Yet, just as I had to make my own mistakes, and do not blame my parents for my own fall into addiction, I know that she too has to travel her own path…and that we both deserve to be loved and forgiven, and both deserve to be seen as saints…as we too are loved by God and living in the light of the risen Christ.

So yes…today, and every day we are ALL saints…as imperfect as we are, we are all still children of God, and all loved by our perfect parent, just as we love our children no matter what they have done or not done…and in this love there is reason to celebrate us ALL as saints!

Let us Pray:

God, thank you for being our perfect parent, for making us ALL your children…making us ALL saints, enveloped in your love and forgiveness…your grace. Please help us to share this grace with all others, remembering that we are all living in the light of the risen Christ, and all saints! Let us treat each other as saints, accepting others as they are, sharing our faith in all that we do, and rejoicing together in the gift of grace that has made us all saints, even though we are not all perfect, living in the good news is that due to God’s love we do not have to be!

Amen

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