The High Call of Holiness in All Things

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Readings for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Saints for Today

“Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

The Beatitudes offer us an invitation to the highest calling of holiness we can obtain. They are not mere commands forbidding us to sin; rather, they are invitations to live on a level higher than humanly possible. They are callings to authentic sanctity.

The Beatitude quoted above is a great example of our high calling in Christ. Jesus states that the one who mourns is blessed. At first this may not make much sense. Why would it be a good thing to mourn, to be sorrowful?

Christian sorrow, or mourning, is the appropriate and healthy response to many situations in life. In particular, holy sorrow is the correct response we should have to sin, tragedy and hurt. An empathetic heart is one that sees the sin or hurt of another and enters into that hurt with true love and compassion.

One is “blessed” when this form of holy sorrow is present because it is this sorrow that motivates us to love. True mourning is a form of mercy and concern shown toward another. The result of this form of sorrow is the personal holiness of the person who is mourning.

Reflect, today, upon your own ability to have a truly empathetic heart. Reflect upon your sincere reaction toward others. When you see someone caught in a life of sin, for example, how do you react? Do you simply judge and condemn? Or do you foster compassion and mercy in your heart? Allow yourself, this day, to grow in holy sorrow, and the end result will be an increase in sanctity. As you grow in personal sanctity, you will see abundant blessings bestowed upon you.

Lord, I pray that I may embrace all of the Beatitudes that You have taught us. I pray, especially, that my heart may grow in empathy for those who are hurting, confused and caught in a life of sin. As I grow in holy sorrow for them, I thank You for the blessings You will bestow upon me. Jesus, I trust in You.