Today the Church celebrates the Feast of All Saints. There are many famous saints in the Church’s canon, each with their own feast day. But there are many more saints who are unknown; ordinary men and women who lived out their Christian faith, and passed it on to others. Today, we celebrate them.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us who will be happy (or blessed) in the kingdom of heaven. The crowd may have been surprised to hear that, in God’s kingdom, the poor in spirit will be happy, rather than the rich; the gentle, and not the powerful; those who mourn, and not those who rejoice. The values that Jesus teaches his disciples are often the opposite of the values of the world.
Many of Jesus’ followers were outsiders; poor, foreigners, sick or disabled. Some of those whom Jesus called to follow him were looked down on as ‘sinners’ by more respectable people. But Jesus invited them all to his table, and he invites us, too. The outsiders are welcomed in God’s kingdom.
Today is a day to remember the saints who have been part of our own lives; the people who taught us faith in Christ, and showed us a good example of Christian living. Today, too, we remember that the outsiders have a special place in God’s kingdom.