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We are Called to be Saints - Family Reflection Video

We are Called to be Saints - Family Reflection Video

Holy lives of inspiration  |  Seasonal Reflections

“I am not a saint. I am not a saint!” “Please do not get me wrong, I am no saint either!” These common expressions tell of a popular perception of saints. They speak of an understanding of saints as men and women who are perfect in everything and as people who live an out-of-this-world life. This perception is not accurate. While there are saints who live in heaven, there are also saints on earth trying their best to live out the gospel. 



Today we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints. It is a celebration of those already in heaven and those who are still here on earth. Even more importantly, this Solemnity is meant to invite each one of us to reflect on how we can live out God’s call to saintliness. 

The Gospel we have just listened to on the Beatitudes gives a blueprint of the radical life we are called to embrace so as to set ourselves on the road to saintliness or holiness. The Gospel proposes poverty of spirit or detachment — where nothing in our lives becomes so essential that it takes the place of God. The Gospel also mentions a hunger and a thirst for righteousness; it mentions the active practice of mercy, the cleanliness of heart, actively working for peace, and a faithfulness to God amidst persecution and other forms of pressures, as ways that can make us genuine children of God or saints. 

This blueprint is not meant for people in heaven; rather, it is intended for us here on earth. As a matter of fact, we have encountered ordinary people like you and me who embodied these beatitudes in life. We know people who are deeply loved, who put others ahead of themselves, those who made an effort to put God above everything else, and those who worked for peace. Were they born like that? Not really. Saints are not born; they are made. Saints are people who make certain choices in life and try to live them faithfully. Sometimes they manage to live these choices directed towards sanctity, and other times they miserably fail. But these are men and women who trust in God’s grace to help them along the road to holiness. 

History is replete with many examples of people you would never think would live saintly lives here on earth or even be considered for sainthood by our Mother Church. Dorothy Day had an abortion and lived as an anarchist for many years; St. Augustine was wild in his youth and even had a kid before marriage. Our very own Venerable Patrick Peyton had a bad Irish temper which he confesses to in his autobiography All for Her. The people we admire and the people who are now held up as role models of sanctity are men and women who struggled with appetites and longings, ambitions and disappointments, vanities and eccentricities — but they trusted and relied on God’s grace to help them along the road to holiness. 

May we, on this day, be reminded of God’s call to each one of us to saintliness as individuals, as families, and as communities. May we be inspired by the example of ordinary men and women who made an effort to live out the gospel. May we be open to His voice through an attentive reflection on sacred scripture. May we open our lives to His transforming grace that comes to us through the sacraments, especially the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist.

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About Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C.

Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C. is the President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. Father Fred, a native of Uganda, has multiple degrees including theology, philosophy, and communications. His native language is Lusoga and he speaks English, Luganda, Kiswahili, and Rutooro. He has been a teacher, researcher, author and family minister. Father Fred is committed to helping build God’s masterpiece one family at a time.