Ordinary Yet Holy

1 November 2019. Solemnity of All Saints

Reflection (Sem. Gerald M. Moscardon)

What does it take to be a saint these days? Is it close to impossible to be a saint in today’s world? Some may say that holiness is only a lofty idea that is hard to reach because of our tendency to sin. But if we look at the many saints we have in the Church, we also see a company of sinners before they pursued a life of holiness. Many saints were former enemies of the Church. Some were prostitutes and public sinners. A few were vain and worldly. Several were short-tempered and impatient. But these did not stop them in pursuing holiness. After their experience of Christ, they chose to follow Him daily despite the many hardships it entails. They are our models; exemplars of the faith not mainly because of what they did for the Church or their great reputation as saints but because of the ordinariness of living out their lives after their conversions. They struggled too but they remained with Christ until the end.

            In our diocese in Cubao, we are praying for the sainthood of Darwin Ramos, a young man who died of a genetic disease but lived a holy life until his death. He belonged to a poor family and they used to beg at the train stations for food. Somebody noticed him and brought him to a center run by religious priests taking care of street children. He embraced his illness with love especially after his experience of Jesus in his life. He remained joyful despite his illness and he willingly shared in Christ’s sufferings. He did not live an illustrious life but in the ordinariness of his life, he lived it in love and total surrender to Jesus. Darwin is an ordinary Filipino boy who is ordinary yet holy. In my opinion, that is what makes him truly belonging in the company of the saints. The Gospel speaks of the Beatitudes and they are reminders that we should remain joyful despite the struggles in this life for they are instrumental in our life to holiness. Every struggle in Christ is a step forward towards our Calvary. It is a journey of purification and a path to holiness. The Beatitudes are signposts reminding us to keep going until we reach Calvary and eventually the Resurrection in Christ.

The Gospel Today

Matthew 5: 1 – 12a

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”

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