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The Saints Are Examples To Us

When we think of saints, the first thing that comes to mind is often ‘people that are in heaven.’  The second thing that might come to mind is that we pray for their intercession.  I emphasize ‘for their intercession’ because we do not pray for the saints to do miracles for us.  Rather, we pray to the saints to ask them to intercede for us with their prayers to God.  God is the one who performs the miracles.

Another way we view the saints is as examples.  Ultimately, we enter into Heaven only through the redemption Jesus won for us on the Cross.  Yet, we are still called to strive to live good lives here on Earth.  The saints did not live perfect lives.  They had their human faults just like us.  In declaring them saints, the church says they strived to live the good Christian life and as such as examples for us.

We have two good examples this week.  On Thursday (March 17th), we celebrated the Memorial of St. Patrick.  St. Patrick is one of the more well-known saints.  He was born in Scotland to a Christian family.  Around the age of fourteen, he was taken as a slave to Ireland to tend flocks.  He prayed for his release.  It was six years before he could escape.  Through that time, he kept the faith and when he was finally able to escape and answered the call to become a priest.  He was later named a bishop and sent to Ireland.  He could have resisted going back to Ireland because of the memories of his time there as a slave but he did not.  The people were mostly Druids and pagans and he worked hard to bring the Christian faith to them.  In his faithfulness to God during his slavery and his ministry to the very people who enslaved him, St. Patrick is an example of discipleship to us.

Today (March 19th), we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph.  Today’s Gospel, tells the story of how Joseph became the father of Jesus.  Mary had been betrohed to him, but before they were together, she became pregnant.  Thinking she had been unfaithful Joseph sought to divorce her because he desired to live as God calls all of us to live.  Then, the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream to tell him it was God’s will for him to take Mary into his home and raise Jesus as his son.  That was enough for Joseph.  As long as it was God’s will, he would do it.  He is example of faithful discipleship to us.

There are many saints who are examples to us of discipleship.  You might search for one who is the example you need and pray for their intercession.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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