DO YOU KNOW WHO THE SAINTS ARE? Prayer Reflection for all Saints Day

This question demands more than the beautiful stories you have read about saints or your favourite saint. When we read about saints we are sometimes lost in wonder as how they achieved those feats. Sometimes the stories appear so beautiful and enticing that we forget how difficult it is to be good. I bet you: if you have a glimpse of "the life of a saint" you may reject being one. If you want to know why read slowly:

Revelation 7: 2-4
I, John, saw another angel rising where the sun rises, carrying the seal of the living God; he called in a powerful voice to the four angels whose duty was to devastate land and sea, ‘Wait before you do any damage on land or at sea or to the trees, until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.’ Then I heard how many were sealed: a hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel... After that I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. One of the elders then spoke, and asked me, ‘Do you know WHO these people are, dressed in white robes, and WHERE they have come from?’ I answered him, ‘You can tell me, my lord.’ Then he said, ‘These are the people who have been through the GREAT PERSECUTION, and they have WASHED THEIR ROBES WHITE AGAIN in the blood of the Lamb.’
1. The question before us is the same question put before John of Patmos in his vision. He sees holy servants of God praising God but lack words to describe them; until the elder describes them. In the same way, we see pius men and women daily but do not know who would be saint tomorrow until the church declares and canonizes one. 

2. The elder asked John and also responded: WHO are these people (saints) and WHERE do they come from. And he responded: these (saints) are people WHO have been through the GREAT PERSECUTION and HAVE WASHED THEIR ROBES WHITE AGAIN in the blood of the lamb. This response becomes the condition by which saints are determined. They are victims of persecutions of all kinds: from men, hardships, sickness, pains, etc and they originate from continuous purification in the blood of Jesus. Even though the people in that vision comes from every nation, race, tribe and language the criteria for membership among the saints were neither national, racial, tribal nor language. This is to tell us that our criteria to be counted among the saints shall not be through these earthly realities that divides us but through perseverance in the persecutions or trials that come our way and continuous repentance and conversion.
3. Saints are those who do not give up before failure. They do not give up after a fall to temptations. They keep pushing even when their strength fails because they depend on God for everything. Child of God are you contemplating to abandon your faith or to abandon virtuous life because your strength is already failing? I urge you, don't give up! Remember the word of God for you in 2 Cor. 12:9 is: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 
4. Saints are radical followers of Jesus. They follow the radicality of the Lion who became a lamb that was slain! (Rev.5:5; 9). One who was sinless was made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). One who is God but did not count equality with God but became a mere servant to save us (Phil. 2: 7-11). That is what radicality is: virtue lived with zeal, perseverance and knowledge of God.
TASK: You can become a saint, yes you can! What is required of you have already been explained. Now take up little, ordinary things or tasks or virtues. Live it out or do them effortlessly and steadily. Don't give up whether you are appreciated or not; do it radically or extraordinarily as if everything depends on it!
God bless You. All saints of God...Pray for us.
Happy All saints day!

© Fr. SimOne Madu, OSJ

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