Rejoice and be glad!
~ Matthew 5:12
Today is the Solemnity of All Saints.
Growing up, I thought or imagined saints to be people with long faces, morose-looking and spending endless hours in solitary prayer. Many of the saints I read about were martyrs who suffered and died for their faith. Although I knew it was good to be a saint, it did not look like a happy proposition for me.
I think now that nothing could be farther from the truth. Saints are the happiest people. Jesus told them, “Rejoice and be glad!” If there is anything that would keep people from being happy, Christ was sure to remove the impediment. Those who mourn will be comforted. Those who are hungry and thirsty will have their fill. The blind will see. The lame will walk. Those who are ill will be healed.
Christ’s words to his saints are very reassuring: Come and I will give your rest. My yoke is sweet and my burden light. Do not be afraid. Peace. He had nothing but blessings for those who believed. He promised them the Kingdom. And what a thrill it is. Imagine the Kingdom of God, where there will be no mourning and no tears. It is a feast with loved ones. Imagine a beautiful place with the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, where the lamb lives in harmony with the wolf and the lion feeding with the ox.
To be a saint then is to be happy, knowing that we have been saved and redeemed. To be a saint is to be glad and rejoice for the many gifts and blessings we have received from a loving God. To be a saint is to want to share the goodness and love that God has so bountifully showered on us. All of us are saints for this we have been created. And we have been called.