Thursday, July 2, 2009

Characteristic of the Saints

We should be interested in the distinguishing marks that are in holy people so we may emulate them. Of course, the clear words are those of Jesus. "If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me" (Lk. 9:23). Look into the lives of the saints and see those marks of the cross. That is, by the way, the derivation and etymology of the word 'patient'. It comes from the Latin origin "pati" which means to sufer. That is why, if love is the essence of Christianity, St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 13) describes love as "humble, patient and forgiving." That was how Jesus lived, and those who followed Him too bore the marks of suffering. That was what convinced the doubting apostle, St. Thomas.

"Thomas, the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord.' But he replied, 'Until I have seen in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.' Eight days later, the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors Jesus came in. He stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here and see my hands; stretch out your hand and put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.' Thomas then said, 'You are my Lord and my god'. Jesus replied, 'You believe because you see me, don't yout? Happy are those who believe although they do not see.'" (Jn. 20:24-29) We too, in this 3rd millennium, we believe on the basis of the words of Jesus, the saintly people we meet in our lives, and the testimony of the living Church that carries the marks of the cross, the nails and scars offered for the love of God and the fellow men and women.

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