What is the good life that God intends for us? And how is it related to the ultimate end or purpose of life? Is it not our desire and longing for true happiness, which is none other than the complete good, the sum of all goods, leaving nothing more to be desired? Jesus addresses this question in his sermon on the mount. This sermon begins with the beatitudes. The word beatitude literally means “happiness” or “blessedness”. The beatitudes, which Jesus offers us, are a sign of contradiction to the world’s understanding of happiness and joy. The heart of Jesus’ message is that we can live a very happy life.
Today we are celebrating the Solemnity of all Saints. We show our veneration of the saints through our acts of love and fellowship. They have already achieved the victor’s crown and live in heaven. We want to be inspired to follow their example and be helped by their prayers. We honor and venerate them today, yet we erect no altars to any of the saints. Today we are celebrating the billions of nameless saints who have lived since the time of Jesus and who have never been beatified or canonized. They are not lesser beings, they are just less known.
Sainthood is not something we do, but is something Christ does for us. Sainthood is the birthright of the baptized and not something earned. A saint is a sinner re-dressed and edified by the touch of Jesus. She or he has let go of the ornaments, cover-ups, and posturing and are available to their truths and the truths around them. The saints were people whose lives included Christ as their companion and guide. They were people who lived the faith of the beatitudes, the merciful, the peacemakers, those who hungered and thirsted after righteousness.