“Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.”Two years ago, Fr. Bennet and I were on a pastor/principal retreat. We were talking about “elevator speeches” and short phrases that described our purpose. The event organizer challenged us to come up with a 3-word phrase that we could use to tell the story of who we are and what we do at St. Joseph Catholic STEM school. We came up with this phrase, Saint Making Factory.The church defines saints as those believed to have been holy enough during their lives to now be in Heaven and can intercede with God to perform miracles. Saints are considered role models for people still on Earth, and are believed to be capable of interceding with God on someone’s behalf when a request for help is made in prayer. In most cases, two miracles are required to canonize a Catholic saint.
In just 2 short weeks, Blessed Teresa of Kolkata (Calcutta) will officially be recognized as a Saint. She was renowned for caring for impoverished people in the slums of Kolkata, India. As we live in our own comfortable corner of the world, I think it is worth asking everyone to contemplate your own life and ask yourself how your path towards sainthood is going.
I believe that we are becoming a holier and holier parish community. It is exciting to see how God is using who and what we are to advance holiness, as we ultimately work to “make saints” each and every day. Perfection is only attainable through God, and what better environment to educate tomorrow’s leaders than in the embrace of our holy Catholic faith here at your parish school.
We can help one another get to heaven, but we must be intentional about it. It is imperative that we do holy things every day. Help others every day. Spread your joy for living amongst all around you every day. Pray every day. Smile every day. Let those around you wonder why your heart is aglow so that they will be attracted to our faith and our God.
When all of us are aglow with God’s love, just imagine how we will be a beacon for all in this community. As we gear up for another school year, I hope that you will accept a challenge from me: Make an intentional plan to become holier this school year, whether it is in your school, your home, or your office, let others see your light and be attracted to it. A great way to do this is to follow this Sunday’s closing gospel verses.
“ And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”