Monday, November 6, 2017

Here's to the Alsorans: Those Litle-Known Saints In Our Lives

Brad Sullivan
All Saints Sunday, Year A
November 5, 2017
Emmanuel, Houston
Matthew 5:1-12

Here's to the Alsorans:  Those Little-Known Saints in Our LIves

Who are the saints?  (Icon of St. Joseph - is this a saint?  Picture of my dad - is this a saint?)
Both are saints, even though only a few knew my dad.

The saints are those who love God and love people. 

The saints are also those whom God loves and whom people love. 

In our Gospel reading, the beatitudes, is Jesus describing the saints?  Yes…and…he’s not always describing people who have done particularly saint-worthy things.  He’s also describing those whom he loves.

Did the people whom Jesus described do particularly saintly things? 
Peacemakers - yes.
Merciful and pure in heart - yes, they seem rather saintly.
Hunger and thirst for righteousness - maybe.
The poor in spirit - no…just kind of downtrodden.
The meek and those whom mourn - …also kind of sad, not particularly great.

Let’s look at that.  Thinking of mourning and being poor in spirit, remember being sick as a kid.  Remember feeling puny and just wanting to cuddle up with a blanket and do nothing?  How is that saintly?  Well, I have a secret for you, are you ready to hear it?  Sometimes when our kids were younger and they were sick, it was actually kind of nice.  We weren’t happy that they felt bad, but they were so cuddly when they were sick.  They would come to us and simply want to be held, to be nearer to us.  We couldn’t make the cold go away, but we gave them what they needed, to be nearer to us, to be held and loved.  We got to hold and take care of our cuddly little kiddos.  How blessed were they and we, when we simply go to hold and love them?

Blessed are little kids when they are sick, because they get taken care of by those who love them. 
In his list of those who are blessed, Jesus is describing some who live out God’s kingdom and live out the heart of God, and Jesus is also describing those who are sick and so draw nearer to God to be held by him and loved.  Blessed are people who live out God’s kingdom, and blessed are people who are down and out for they are cared for by God and live near to God through the love they share.

At the heart of the saints is a heart that says, “I love people and I want to live in a way that is loving toward others.”  Also at the heart of the saints is a heart that says, “I have nothing left; I am tired and poor and sick, and I want to rest in Jesus’ arms and receive God’s love.”

So that’s who we’re talking about when we talk about the saints.  We’re talking about those who love:  those who love God and love people, those who are loved by God and loved by people, and those who seek out and receive God love and receive peoples’ love.  Those who love and those who let themselves be loved.  Those are the saints.

Who are the saints in your lives?

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