November 1,

1 Corinthians 1:1-9,

While much of the liturgy and the sermon went over the little girl’s head, she was fascinated by the pictures of saints adorning the stained-glass windows. When asked later what a saint was, she said, “Saints are people that the light shines through.”  Is there a better answer than that! Saints are people that the light of Christ shines through. Or as W.E. Sangster in his book, The Pure in Heart, said, after a detailed examination of the lives of many Christian saints: saints are people in whom the Spirit of God resides. He wrote, “While every saint is unique, there is something they all have in common”: they show the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Literally saints are holy people, but only God is truly holy. Holiness comes through association with God. Those who are united with Christ through faith can be regarded as holy, not by their own efforts but by the Spirit of Christ within them. Self-achieved holiness gives holy a bad name.

As with Christians of New Testament times, we are all called to be saints. Through our faith relationship with Christ, we are saints and also saints-in-the-making. Some might appear to be further along in the process than others and they, whether endorsed by the institutional church or simply significant to our own personal Christian journey, inspire and encourage us as role-models or heroes of the faith.

While on this All Saints Day we give thanks for saints that have inspired and encouraged us in our faith, lets also respond, in humility, to Christ’s call to live as the saints he calls us to be.

  • How important are good role-models for young people growing up?
  • Who has been to you a role-model or hero in the Christian faith?
  • What do you think of this: “Self-achieved holiness gives holy a bad name”?
  • If only God is holy, how come we talk about the Bible or the Church being holy?