Who are the heroes who make the world go ‘round? And how do we recognize them?
As after 9/11, the recent murders of unsuspecting Canadian soldiers in Quebec and on Parliament Hill remind us of the daily heroism of people in the particular roles of soldier, fire fighter and police officer who give their lives to preserving and protecting the lives of others. Their uniforms become a sign of honour.
This week I was also struck, though, by the thoughts expressed by a local man who joined thousands of others in lining the overpasses on the 401 to honour Cpl. Nathan Cirillo on his procession home. He was moved by his experience of the people he met, and In a letter to the editor of The Spectator he said in part:
To the people who preach intolerance and hatred, and who initiate this and any
other kind of violence against the innocent and those who stand up for them: now,
more than ever in my life, I know something you don’t seem to realize. We
outnumber you – in immense proportions – and we outdo you in courage, and
kindness, and love. There is nothing you can do to win this fight. There will be
peace one day, and you might be a part of it. I hope so. But with or without you,
it will happen.
Is this also what Jesus and the early church are saying in this week's reading of the opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount?
Blessed are you poor in spirit, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you who mourn, for you will be comforted.
Blessed are you meek, for you will inherit the earth.
Blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you will be filled.
Blessed are you merciful, for you will receive mercy.
Blessed are you pure in heart, for you will see God.
Blessed are you peace-makers, for you will be called children of God.
Blessed are you who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for yours
is the kingdom of heaven.
You are the salt of the earth ...
You are the light of the world ...
Sunday is All Saints' Sunday -- a day to remember and celebrate the call upon all our lives to live on this earth as part of the company of heroes who make the world go round. No uniform required and no particular profession other than a living profession of faith in the way of life God calls us to in Jesus.