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saintsThis morning’s first reading is the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. As is the norm, his greeting to the community at Ephesus is more than the standard “Dear…” and struck me this morning as quite lovely and meaningful. (I often wonder how deeply we consider our own beginning of letters or e-mails, i.e. how dear we hold those to whom we write.) Paul addresses them as the holy ones who are in Ephesus and says: Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. He often calls his recipients holy ones or even saints which I think is quite magnanimous and visionary of him. Even though we sometimes hear sentences like She’s a real saint! or I don’t know how he does it; he’s a saint! it’s usually in a conversation about hardship. I don’t mean to discount the fact that people go through hardship in heroic ways but I think Paul is onto something when he addresses whole communities as saints and holy ones. Without ignoring the possibility of imperfection, that kind of address sees the people as God sees them and affirms them unconditionally. I may only be “on the way” to sainthood but thinking of myself with that potential certainly gives me encouragement to move forward more deeply and joyfully toward God.

So I pray that all you saints and holy ones may know God’s grace and peace as you wake up to the wonders of this day in all that you encounter!