by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada
"I'm the holy God, and you must be holy too." (1 Peter 1:16)
Holiness for all! You too, even the sainthood.
All parts of our lives and character should be in the process of meeting, both inwardly and outwardly, to God's standards. Holiness means totally devoted or dedicated to God, set aside for his special use and set apart from sin and its influence. This privilege of being holy is not for a few but for all who are called by him.
Holiness comes from the spirit of Jesus and that is for all - rich or poor, black or white, educated or illiterate, weak or strong, able or disabled, married or single, priest or layman, bishop or priest, African or American, earthly or celestial. We can serve the holy God only in holiness.
God is holy. "Worship the Lord in holy attire" (Psalm 96:9). Titles and earthly adoration will not make anybody holy in front of God in heaven, but only a holy life in Jesus can do so. This is possible in all times and for all people. There is no excuse not to be so. "In holiness and righteousness for as long as we live" (Luke 1:75). A life of joy, peace ,and love goes with only the holy. Aspire always the holiness. Anyone can achieve holiness.
Isdore was a simple peasant who lived in Madrid, Spain. He married a poor girl named Maria and the couple pledged to serve God faithfully. They shared with those less fortunate than themselves and became models of Christian charity and virtue in their community. Isdore worked for a rich farmer and arrived late to work every morning because he attended Mass. He explained for the late coming that the spiritual rewards he experienced at Mass allowed him to work more diligently for the rest of the day.
According to legend, the rich farmer watched as Isdore hitched a team of oxen to a plow and began to work. He saw another plow pulled by a pair of shinning white oxen in the field beyond Isdore. When the rich man ran up to get closer look, the oxen and plow disappeared. It was the angels who helped him work. Many miracles were attributed to Isdor. A king was declared healed from his serious illness as the result of Isdore's intercessory prayer. He was canonized in 1622.
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession" (1 Peter 2:9). Be holy. Jesus wants you to be so.
Jesus, let us be holy as you are holy. Remove the darkness of misunderstanding about the holiness. Let the spirit of holiness be with us always. We remember all those who strive for holiness. Let our homes and our offices be filled with the spirit of holiness. We pray for all the unsung souls of saints. "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of heaven's Armies! The whole earth is filled with His glory" (Isaiah 6:3). All we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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