Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-3
Saints Among Us
Whom do you consider to be a "saint?" Why would you call this person a saint?
1 See how the Father loves us. He loves us in a way we can be called children of God, so we are his children. The world doesn't know us, because it doesn't know Jesus. 2 Loved ones, we are now God's children, but he hasn't shown us what we be at the end of time. We do know that, if Jesus shows himself, we will be like him because we will see him as he really is. 3 Everyone who hopes to see Jesus will keep away from sin, just as Jesus lived a pure life.
1 See what sort of love the Father has given us, so that we might be called "children of God," and we are. Because of this, the world does not know us, because it does not know HIM. 2 Beloved, we are now children of God and (it) has not been made manifest yet what we will be. We know that, if HE is made manifest, we will be like HIM, because we will see HIM just as he is. 3 Everyone having this hope upon HIM purifies himself, just as THAT (ONE) is pure.
3:1c " the world does not know us, because it does not know HIM." The word "know" implied an intimate knowledge. This is the type of knowledge revealed in a relationship. The "world" (i.e., popular culture) does not understand Christians, because it does not have a personal relationship with Christ.
3:2 "made manifest" implied both revelation of who Christ is and what he had become in his risen state. He is the Son of God (who) and the Risen Lord (what). In the context of the passage, John stated the Christians were also children of God (who), but they had not risen from the dead (what). When Christians are risen from the dead, they will understand the full meaning of the phrase "child of God." They will be like Christ in both senses.
3:3 "purifies himself" was moral preparation for the end times.
When do we know we are saints? To be seen as a saint might seem like a lofty ideal. However, we are saints simply because we believe. Faith in God changes our outlook; we see ourselves and the world in a different light. We realize we have a relationship with the Creator of the universe that is not distant. God loves us, as a father dotes on his children. When we experience his love, we understand that what a relationship with God is really all about. His love is the basis of our faith. His love gives us hope to see the Lord Jesus at the end of time, and to act accordingly. His love makes us saints.
I personally know of people who I consider saints. These are ordinary people who do extraordinary things; in doing so, their lives mirror God's love to others. I admire these people and are proud to call them my friends. Through their friendship, I feel the love of our Creator. When I'm with them, I know that I am among God's children.
I hope you have the opportunity to meet and befriend such people. I thank God I have. They have changed my life.
What aspirations do you have to become a saint? How has God helped you on your road to sainthood?