I had a technical mishap and my trusty zoom field recorder didn’t record but a second or two, so no audio for today’s school Mass! As normal I wrote out my homily, but this time I went down to the floor and preached right next to the kids.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
About 5 kids responded.
Have you ever thought about growing up to be a saint? Now I don’t mean a player on the New Orleans Saints, I mean have you thought about being a saint like some of you dressed up as today? All of us have dreams about the career we want, the house we may want to live in, how much we make for our salary, but do we ever think about becoming a saint? Becoming someone who is holy?
Today we celebrate the feast of all of the saints. These are men and women who have gone before us as an example to us, who show us an excellent way to live out our faith. I think I may have seen a Saint Joan of Arc out there, some bishops, some religious sisters, (add other examples) I’m impressed by the effort you put into these costumes, and as you wear them today and see others in their costumes think about the example of the saints in our lives. What can we learn from them about how we can become like them too.
The saints we celebrate today, the saints you dressed up as live out what Jesus told us about in today’s Gospel. We call these the beatitudes, the promise from Jesus that if we live a certain way we will receive certain blessings from God. These saints were humble, they thirsted for righteousness, for their faith they were persecuted. I challenge you and maybe you can even do it in some of your classes, look at the saints and try and find saints who lived out the beatitudes. Who is an excellent example of being poor in spirit? Of being Meek? Of hungering and thirsting for righteousness? Who are pure of heart?
However, we don’t only have to look at the saints that you dressed up as, or have heard about in church; we can also look at the people in our own lives, maybe even people in our own school, our own teachers. We can see in them meekness, humility, being pure of heart, who have a hunger for justice, and maybe even some people who are being persecuted for their faith. Do we see these examples here at Ascension Catholic in this gym?
We should also look at ourselves and ask ourselves am I living a holy and saintly life, am I meek, or poor in spirit, have I mourned, do I have a clear and pure heart. The beatitudes help us examine our lives and help us to become saints.
So I ask you again, what do you want to be when you grow up? (ad lib?) We can have many different answers, but we can all hope to become saints one day. However, I’m going to give you one very simple homework assignment. At one moment today, when you have a quiet moment, say this to God. “God make me a saint!” We can tell this to God every day if we want to. God wants all of us, you and me to be saints, to be with him in heaven. I hope we all grow up to be saints and that one day we will be dressed up in heaven, not as someone else but as saints ourselves!