The readings at Mass today respectively describe and prescribe the life choices of those are - and those who would be, and are called to be, saints.
The acronym MPH can be a helpful one to sum up the eight saintly qualities of the beatitudes. In metric days we know it means Miles Per Hour! I find it a handy acronym to give me the key words to the qualities required of us as preached by the Lord in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of today.
What are these qualities or characteristics of those who see, or who wish to see, heaven?
Those who Mourn, the Meek
The Poor in spirit, Pure in heart, the Persecuted, the Peacemakers
Those who Hunger and thirst for righteousness
The readings at Mass today re-iterate two of the ‘P’ qualities in particular:
The pure – we must purify ourselves, to be pure as Christ, to be with those who have ‘washed their robes clean in the blood of the Lamb’, ‘the man with clean hands and a pure heart’ is among those who seek the Lord’s face ‘while He is still to be found’.
The persecuted - The world fails to acknowledge us, and all people ‘who have been through the great persecution’ as described to us today in the second reading from the book of Revelation.
On this feast of all the saints we recall – not just canonised ones and the blessed – but all those men and women gone before us marked with the sign of faith who in our minds displayed these qualities of faith and virtuous living – fellow parishioners who everybody without hesitation declared to be living saints’, those we feel deserved to go ‘straight up’, those who had holy and peaceful deaths, those whose ‘good deeds go with them' (Revelation), those who suffered patiently persecution even from a spouse or within the family circle for their piety or from troubled family members, who suffered long with mental illness or from a family member with chronic addiction and abuse.
Or those whose hearts and minds and conversations were pure, who never uttered a bad or uncharitable word, who displayed a goodness that could not be readily explained, who had a charism or gift, who we felt the better for having known them, and that the world was a better place because they were in it. those whose example we found inspiring, even unbeknownst to themselves.
All you saints, all holy men and women, pray for us.