1When he saw the crowds, [Jesus] went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. 2He began to teach them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,/ for theirs is the kingdom of heaven./ 4Blessed are they who mourn,/ for they will be comforted./ 5Blessed are the meek,/ for they will inherit the land./ 6Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,/ for they will be satisfied./ 7Blessed are the merciful,/ for they will be shown mercy./ 8Blessed are the clean of heart,/ for they will see God./ 9Blessed are the peacemakers,/ for they will be called children of God./ 10Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,/ for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
Blessed. Before they are proclaimed saints, holy men and women are called “blessed.” They are heroes of our faith. They may have lived poor or may have been persecuted, but they were rich in mercy and in peace. They showed us how to live with sincere hearts and pure intentions, how to be righteous and meek. They led ordinary lives in an extraordinary manner. They are indeed blessed.
A society without heroes or saints is an ordinary group of people, with no one to look up to or no one to be proud of. We all need models, people we can consider brave in difficult times, grateful in happier times, and worthy of veneration, for they have lived happily and have found blessings every moment of their lives. They dare us and show us the possibility of living with meaning. They are the answer to Jesus’ call to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy.
Name your favorite saint(s).