"Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb." ~ Revelation 7:10
On this the day that we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints Day, our 1st Reading (Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14) reminds us that those who follow the Lord and his precepts are on the right side of the final battle, the battle that culminates in salvation and everlasting life for the faithful; the battle that leads to Sainthood. With vivid imagery, John exclaims "These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”
But make no mistake: the road to salvation, as we learned in yesterday’s Gospel (Luke 13:22-30) will require the faithful who seek it to “enter through the narrow gate.” Our 2nd Reading (1 John 3:1-3) tells us in part why this is so. “The reason that the world does not know us (God’s children) is that it did not know him” John rather logically explains, and in a world that is rapidly degenerating into a vapid secular wasteland, one in which God is oftentimes an afterthought, this would appear to be even more pertinent today. So how does one attain sainthood?
Well first things first: For man it is impossible. But as the scripture text chosen for today’s reflection reminds us, salvation and subsequent sainthood can be attained through God, who works within us through our Savior Jesus and the immeasurably generous gifts of the Holy Spirit https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Contemplating-the-Mystery-of-Christs-Generosity. Today’s Gospel (Matthew 5:1-12) in many respects represents one member of the Holy Trinity working within another, for it is in today’s passage that Jesus hands us the Holy Spirit infused and inspired roadmap to sainthood via the 8 Beatitudes.
Why are the Beatitudes so critical to our salvation? Because they represent the Son of God, the word made flesh, showing us the step-by-step path to eternal life. It is the infallible one himself instructing each of us how to achieve the only thing that truly matters. Eternal life. What could be more riveting?
“Follow the Saints, because those who follow them will become them” ~ Saint Clement I