Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Be Holy

Friends of Faith:

Often times my goals are short sighted, or short lived, but the Lenten readings help me recall that my mission here on earth isn’t fame, wealth, power, prosperity or even happiness. As a Christian my true mission here on earth is to become holy.
The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them: “Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.” Lv 19: 1-2 (This verse is followed by the list of the Ten Commandments.)

In the New Testament Jesus gives us a greater commandment: “To Love one another, AS I have Loved you.” And his instructions and witness were on HOW I am to accomplish this task:
Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him.  And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food,  ….’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Mt 25: 31-42

As a Christian, a friend, a parent and a spouse it is good to be reminded that my goal shouldn’t be for WHAT I can achieve on earth, but for HOW God calls me to be for others. Becoming holy doesn’t happen because I am “good,” becoming holy happens because my actions help others see Christ in their lives. My true goal should be to achieve heaven, to think about HOW GOD will judge me when I die and to remember that I don’t know when my last day will be so I need to take every opportunity to love today. Being Holy is about living EVERYDAY as if it is my last day.
The Bible (Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth) is in fact full of ways to make me holy – none of them exclusive of any other. If we believe in one page, even one verse, then we must believe in the entire book.

God is a package deal. Not only did He leave himself in the physical words of the Bible, BUT his “word became flesh” in His son, Jesus, who instituted a physical Church to instruct and unify His people AND who died to redeem our sins. AND, finally he completed the “package” by sending the Holy Spirit to place himself into our hearts.
Becoming holy isn’t to pick and choose from a buffet line of offerings to say I am good at one thing or another or that I believe one thing, but not the other. Becoming holy is to be ready to do whatever God’s call is for me today even if it is something I don’t feel particularly good at, or want to do, or that take me by surprise, or happen unexpectedly (good or bad).

Not only am I called to be holy in and for myself, but my call is to be a witness, to lead and to bring others to holiness.
St Paul in his famous passage on marriage (Eph 5: 21-33) says that husbands and wives are to love each other as Christ loved us (he died for us) so that in doing so the other will be made spotless and unblemished – holy in his sight.

Wherever and whenever I turn in my reading and reflection, God’s Holy Word inspires me to do for others, be for Him, ask of Him and to be ready to receive Him as a WHOLE, so that I can become more like Him: Holy in his sight.
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer: Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart find favor before you. (Ps 19:15) Make my Lenten journey be one of holiness, wisdom and good judgment. Help me to recognize and not turn my back on the sick, homeless, naked or imprisoned, especially those who are struggling nearest to me. Thank you for giving me instructions and a Savior, Jesus, so that when I fail I can be redeemed. Open my eyes to understand, my thoughts to find wisdom and my heart to have the courage to choose Your goal for me, holiness, instead of living to achieve my short term desires. Amen.

Just as Moses spent 40 years leading the people to the promised land and Jesus spent 40 days in the desert before his death, these 40 days of Lent are my time to “wander” closer to holiness: to welcome, visit, feed, cloth AND love whomever, whichever, least of my brothers is set near, on, or even “coincidentally” in my path.
God, Jesus, Spirit. The Word, The Flesh, The Soul. The Bible, The Church, The Heart. Teach me to Love, Guide me to Love, Form me to Love. Holy, Holy, Holy.

Be Holy and inspire others to be Holy.


No comments:

Post a Comment