All Saints Day
Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
Our Christian faith is a strange thing. We live in the midst of this world, with all its beauty and grandeur but also with its sin, ugliness and downright brutality. Without ever fully understanding why, we proclaim that God is good and that all things work to our good. Oddly enough, we proclaim this not from our experience of God rewarding us for being good people. I don’t know too many Christians who have won the lottery, or been great successes on the stock market because of their faith. Rather, we proclaim that God is good usually because we have experienced the blessing of God in the midst of brokenness and suffering. Having landed rock bottom on our backs, we can be transformed by the beauty of the stars. Ironically, we would never wish on another the suffering that has brought us so low, but we would dearly love others to share in the blessing that we have received.
The Beatitudes invite us to look at our lives from a contemplative, a mystical point of view. In the lives of the saints, we see what happens when people give themselves over to the grace of God. They did not become good because of their works or because they achieved a model of holiness – rather they allowed God’s goodness to flow through them. There is a moving piece by Romano Guardini on sanctity – he simply lists the variety of saints that have existed. As the list rolls on, many and varied, one begins to feel ‘I too could be a saint’. I only need allow God to break into my life.
The Beatitudes offer us eight different ways of recognising the times when God’s blessing breaks into our world. Poverty, grief, zeal for God, working for peace etc. are ways that reveal to us our fragility and vulnerability and often cause us great suffering. Cracking open the shell of our self, they allow us to thrust our roots deep into our humanity, while reaching up to be feed by the light and love of God…and thus join the great company of saints.