In just a few days we will begin this great and Holy Time of Lent. In these last few days I’d like to reflect on this call to perfection, to holiness and ultimately righteousness. At first glance we might find this an impossible task, for none of us is perfect, none of us is perfectly holy nor righteous. But I believe if we go a bit deeper and turn to the origin, we might get some clearer understanding of how we are being called by the Lord today.
If you truly know yourself you may be aware of the many of the ways you are flawed, your weakness, your limitations and struggles. But not only are we challenged in our human condition but we are also gifted because we are divinely made in the image of a mighty great God. So although we and others maybe be quick to find faults, we are also good, gifted, talented and blessed in an abundance of ways. We must know both, however our reflection today isn’t about us, it isn’t about what we fail to do or how we don’t match up. Today’s reflection is really all about God and His perfect love, His great and awesome holiness, that is truly righteous over our lives.
God in His perfect love and mercy in creating us also called a people and made them His own. The people of Israel are God’s chosen and Holy People called to be a holy nation. But you see in being called to holiness both the people of Israel and us by adoption through Jesus Christ God’s Son and our Lord and Savior, we too share in that special relationship through our baptism. Like the People of Israel we believe that we too are called to be Holy, to be perfect, to be righteous.
God is the Perfect and Holy God who seeks justice and righteousness over our lives, and we being His children are call to reflect who He is to others. Namely Jesus’ calling us to holiness and perfection is not a call to be pious, but rather, by reflecting God’s holiness we mirror God to the world. Namely even though flawed as we are, God still desires to use us to reflect and mirror His divine holiness and perfection to those we encounter.
By loving our neighbor as ourselves as we hear in Leviticus 19:17 we show God’s holiness. You see the holiness and perfection of God can be reflected through us when Matthew says:
“love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”
When we show forth the Mercy, Forgiveness, Love and Righteousness of God through our lives it is then that we live lives of holiness. Pope Francis in His Document GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE ON THE CALL TO HOLINESS IN TODAY’S WORLD he states:
Each community is called to create a “God-enlightened space in which to experience the hidden presence of the risen Lord”. Sharing the word and celebrating the Eucharist together fosters fraternity and makes us a holy and missionary community. It also gives rise to authentic and shared mystical experiences.