Paul tells us today that God’s intention for creating us is so we can “be holy and without blemish before him.” We were created in the likeness of God which means we were created holy. The sin of Adam and Eve was to deny the divine life within them. Jesus came that we might remember we have the divine energy within us, but our weaknesses and pettiness and selfishness cover over our divine spark and make us think that we are not holy. To uncover our holiness is our vocation. It is not about already ‘being’ there, it is about ‘becoming.’
“In love God destined us for adoption to himself.” Paul makes it clear that we are part of the family of God. God desires to have a close personal relationship with each of us. God’s intention has not changed. We have changed. We have separated ourselves from God. We turn away from God and the family of God when we sin. Jesus has rescued us and brought us back into the fullness of God’s family so we can receive the graces and blessings of being in relationship with God.
Jesus tells us in today’s gospel that holiness is not about the external things. It is not about building memorials to holy people, rather it is about listening to their words and internalizing their messages of love and forgiveness. It is not about strict adherence to the law if it results in exclusion and elitism. We must internalize the law and take it to heart and then welcome all into the family of God with love and forgiveness, just as we have been welcomed back.
We cannot do this by our own efforts though. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit, who, with our consent, transforms the word of God in our hearts into a living reality in our lives. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to help us overcome our selfishness, deception, and our unwillingness to be vulnerable which infects our relationship with God and with others. When we listen to the Holy Spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts we “put on the mind of Christ” (1Cor 2:16), it is the unconditional love of Christ that makes what we DO holy.
“We are called to live holiness. Do not think that the work is being done by others. There is a place that only you can fill. It will remain empty if you do not take it!” (Bishop William Giaquinta founder of the Pro Sanctity Movement.)
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