The heroes of Christianity are the saints. They are doers who stand head and shoulders over ordinary people. Instead of treading in the safe middle, they go to the extreme. They stretch a virtue or a value to its furthest limit, allowing us to see what it looks like in pure form.
So, you don’t want to raise an army to save France – nevertheless, St. Joan insists that God does speak to us. So, you feel foolish talking to animals – nevertheless, St. Francis proves that all creation is one. So, it makes more sense to someone to buy someone a coat than tear yours in half – nevertheless, St. Martin shows that the needy person is our other half. So, sucking pus from an open sore is gross to the extreme – nevertheless, St. Peter demonstrated that compassion is the guts of love.
We may not be called to imitate some of the strange behaviors of the saints, but we are called to be saints. St. Paul states: we are “no longer strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the holy ones (saints) and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). A saint is a hero in holiness. Saints like Joan of Arc, Francis of Assisi, Martin de Porres and Peter Claver, remind us that going beyond the middle ground is needed and can be accomplished.
Let us look at these and other saints as role models. We must imitate their passion of faith and their willingness to extend themselves for others. As today’s Gospel of the beatitudes reminds us, we will be blessed when we go further than expected in our walk with Christ. May the saints accompany us on our journey and challenge us to grow in holiness. Peace.