Revelation 7:9-17; Psalm 34:1-10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12
“Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.”
Our reading from the first letter of John offers us a startling possibility: when we celebrate the saints, we might be celebrating ourselves. The mystery of each human, honeycombed with competing impulses, gifts, blind spots and longings, waits to be opened bit by bit by our encounters with each other and with the divine.
Suddenly, I see the Beatitudes as a litany of those who have walked forth in faith, never sure of their destination. They may hope that their mourning will lead to comfort, that their thirst for righteousness may be quenched, but they do not know. We do not know. Yet we continue to walk.
Our faith keeps us brave when we help launch new lives into unexplored seas, delighted and aghast at the possibilities in front of them. Our faith beckons us forward as those we love step beyond our sight, into a light and love we try to trust, and hope to reach in our own time. It summons us into this motley assortment of pilgrims, where the road is the blessing and where maps are unreliable, even when many have gone before us. Amid dust, sore feet and grumbling, what radiance will be revealed as we travel onward?
Carol James has been part of the cathedral community for over a decade. She has served as a co-mentor in the Education for Ministry program. She currently leads the evening prayer providers in the Jail Ministry and is a cathedral staff member.