Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12a
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. He sat down and his disciples gathered around him. Then he spoke and began to teach them:
Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Fortunate are those who mourn; they shall be comforted. Fortunate are the gentle; they shall possess the land.
Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.
Fortunate are the merciful, for they shall find mercy. Fortunate are those with pure hearts, for they shall see God. Fortunate are those who work for peace;
they shall be called children of God.
Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause
of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you
in God. For that is how this people persecuted the prophets who lived before you.

“Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit.”
Saints are people like us, of flesh and blood. They came from all walks of life: John Paul II and John XXIII were popes; Ezekiel Moreno was a priest and bishop; Thomas More was a lawyer and statesman; Margaret of Scotland was queen, wife, and mother of 10; Therese of Lisieux was a nun; Tarcisius was an altar boy; Francis of Asissi was a deacon; Pedro Calungsod was a catechist; Lorenzo Ruiz was a layman; Isidore was a farmer; Louis and Zellie Martin were husband and wife, etc. They were very much like us. But what makes the difference? The difference lies in the fact that their Christian Faith dictated and gave direction to their way of life. The difference is that they lived the Faith they em- braced, and the Gospel they believed. They were totally devoted to Jesus. They had their own weakness, and like us they had to struggle with human inclinations and temptations, but they triumphed in their pursuit of holiness; they were Christians in and out. They took to heart not to stain their identity as children of God.
“Be like saints” is our battle cry today. It will indeed be a great rejoicing when someday we will find each other counted and numbered among the saints, among those who will be marked and sealed as children of God (Rev. 7:3; 1 Jn 3:1,2).

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