This week on our Christian Calendar we will be marking both All Saints and All Souls. One of the things that I like to think about as I celebrate those days are the people of faith, both in history and our past, who have been great living examples of following Christ.
One of the best definitions that I have ever heard of a “Saint” is that they are “a person who lets the light through”. It is a definition that has both a literal and figurative meaning. Literally, it is the images of the Saints in ours and many church’s stained glass windows that let the light through. But more importantly, a Saint is a person who by their example so beautifully reflects the spiritual light of God’s love, wisdom, and grace in their words and example that it appears to be passing through them to everyone around them, directly from God.
Living a Christian life on this earth is not easy. Jesus acknowledges that by drawing to our attention in teaching of the Beatitudes to some important and challenging qualities of our Christian living like being merciful, pure in heart, or a peacemaker. As well, he holds up examples of times of great trial in a person’s life, like when they are mourning a great loss or are suffering persecution for what they believe.
Overall, Jesus knows that his gospel message of compassion and forgiveness will be understood by those who in brokenness and humility have already experienced God’s grace. I would dare say that includes everyone of us and every saint we can think of. It is from us, who have survived brokenness in life or those who are passing through this life with humility, that Jesus builds us up as his followers. It is us, regular people who are trying to follow Jesus, that Jesus has chosen to help to become the kind of people who let the light of God’s grace shine through.