Are We called to be Saints?

August 18, 2013 under Syllabus 2013-2014

Summary

In one sense, everyone who is baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection is a saint. This is not to diminish the special role of the canonized saints but to highlight the immense gift that is all of ours in Christ. Because of the power of the cross, each Christian has the same inheritance in heaven as the great saints whose lives we commemorated in a special way on All Saints Day.!

Objective

“Are you a saint?” If someone were to ask you this question, how would you answer it? At the very beginning of his letter to the Philippians, Paul called his readers “saints,” or “holy ones” (Note: many Bible translations use the word saints in place of “holy ones.”) When we hear the word “saint,” most of us think of the special Christians of the past-canonized saints-who are renowned because of their extraordinary holiness and witness, in some cases to the point of martyrdom. However, when Paul used the word “saint,” he used it with a small “s” not a capital “S.” and thus meant all Christians-even us today!

Bible Readings

1. 2 Timothy Chapter 1, 9

He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began.

2. Philippians Chapter 1, 1-11

Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the holy ones in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the overseers and ministers: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right that I should think this way about all of you, because I hold you in my heart, you who are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

Catechism Readings

1. Paragraph 823

“The Church… is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy. This is because Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as ‘alone holy,’ loved the Church as his Bride, giving himself up for her so as to sanctify her; he joined her to himself as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God.” The Church, then, is “the holy People of God,” and her members are called “saints.”

Small Group Questions

1. How would you answer the question: “Are you a saint? Are you Holy?

a. Correct answer is: “yes I am holy, not because of me, but because of Christ, Who lives inside of me. The day I was chosen and baptized, god set me apart as His own. Now I am holy in God.”

2. What steps can you take to open yourself more to the work of the Holy Spirit to form you more and more into a “saint”?

3. At the end of your meeting, pray for one another that each of you would be empowered to be saints and a witness to this broken and hurting world. Use this prayer as a starting point.

“Father, thank you for giving me a share in the fellowship of your saints. By your Spirit, empower me to embrace Jesus and his life in me. Empower me to be a saint.”

Recommended Resources

http://catholicexchange.com/what-does-it-means-to-be-a-saint/

Based on the characteristics that Paul mentioned in the first few verses of Philippians, we can begin to define what makes a person a “saint.”:

  • Saints are “in Christ” (Philippians 1:1).
  • They are united with Jesus; they are “partners . . . in grace” (1:7).
  • They have access to the love and power of the Spirit in their everyday lives.
  • Because of their “partnership for the gospel” (1:5), they are all called and empowered to proclaim the gospel and build the kingdom of God.
  • Baptized into Christ and filled with the Spirit, saints stand as a sign to the world of the love and power of God.

Author(s)

Fr Larry Richards, Be a Man Chapter 9.

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