What makes a saint?
Matthew 5:1-12The most common notion is that saints are those who lived lived of grace here on earth and are now enjoying the bliss of heaven.
But from the readings, it is evident that saints are not just saints because they're already in heaven. Sainthood marks our whole lives here on earth. We are already saints-in-process.
What makes a saint here on earth? First, we become saints because we are washed by the blood of the Lamb, not because we did good deeds on earth but by our intimate knowledge and relationship with Jesus. It is he who cleanses us each day and washes away our sins through the offering of his life. Life is getting to know Jesus each day.
Second, we don't delay being saints in the afterlife. Notice the gospel: every action has a consequence. The gospel talks about being poor in spirit, of being merciful, of being peacemakers and persecuted, and so on. These are not the actions in heaven but here on earth. Now, Imagine the consequence of our every action if it runs counter to the beatitudes - the times when we wallow in our riches and power, every time we evade our sorrows, when we are more preoccupied with our comforts and reputation, or when we compromise our God's values. Dread every moment when we forget to live life with Jesus.
But if we are conscious of every moment we do things because we rely totally on God, when God becomes our only joy, and we suffer persecution because of him, think what God will do to us in this life till the next.
Remember, saints are saints not just because they are in heaven. Sainthood already becomes of us while we are on earth.