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By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Mar 2, 2009)
Readings: Lv 19:1-2, 11-18; Mt 25: 31-46
"Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy." Lv 19:1
"All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity. All are called to holiness" (Catechism, 2013). There you have it. Today's first reading and the Catechism of the Catholic Church hit on a major goal of the Christian life — personal holiness.
The quest for holiness is not reserved for priests or nuns. To believe such a statement would be turning away from the word of God and the teaching of our Church. Just to be utterly clear: We are all called, regardless of our educational background, job, or state in life, to be holy. That is the goal that prepares us for union with God in heaven.
How can the average person achieve a life of perfect virtue? It seems nearly impossible when you look at what we're faced with on a daily basis: bills, dirty diapers, the struggles of parenting, lay-offs at work, illnesses, and so many other challenges, big and small. It's important for us to realize that attaining personal holiness is a process, and that everything and everyone we are dealing with are opportunities to exercise virtue.
When the pile of bills is overwhelming, let's praise the Lord and give Him thanks for His providence. Let's not allow the weeds of discouragement and anxiety to take root in our hearts. For a parent with small children, this might mean reflecting on how the Infant Jesus was quietly nurtured by Mother Mary while you are changing the baby's diaper for the fourth time in six hours.
Personal holiness can be sought after in and through the ordinariness of life, not in spite of it. Today is a gift to us from God. Let's ask the Lord to direct our thoughts and actions as we seek to be like Him throughout every hour.
Lord Jesus, I love You so much. I truly want to be holy. Please, Lord, help me to be more like You and to reflect Your Love throughout the day. Amen.