7th MARCH 2022

The Open Door Church

MONDAY, FIRST WEEK OF LENT

 

Memorial of Saints Perpetua & Felicity, Martyrs (Optional Commemoration)

 

Lv 19: 1-2, 11-18;                  Ps 19: 8-10, 15;                      Mt 25: 31-46


    

HOW DO WE UNDERSTAND HOLINESS TODAY?

A Carmelite sanctifies herself to make all the church members holy, says the young Carmelite saint Teresa of Los Andes. The book of Leviticus indicates that for the Israelites holiness meant being set apart to offer sacrifices for the sanctification of the people. Jesus was set apart by God the Father to offer the supreme sacrifice of his own body and blood for the sanctification of all humankind. Hence, he becomes both the high priest and the sacrificial offering. He is the most holy. Our sanctification is made possible through his supreme sacrifice. In other words, it is our faith in Jesus that makes us holy.

Furthermore, by our sanctification, we can contribute in a small way towards the sanctification of the whole church and all its members. For this, we need to offer ourselves to the Lord, as helpers and co-workers in his sanctifying mission. St Teresa of Avila narrates how she offered herself: “I cried to the Lord and begged him that I might be his instrument.”

How can we offer ourselves? Firstly, by determinedly working to remove from our lives the impediments of our sanctification – pride, selfishness, revengeful attitudes, anger, unforgiveness, greed, etc. Secondly, we must dedicate time for personal prayer and the reading of the Scriptures. Jesus accompanies us in our efforts, interceding for us with the Father: “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.” (Jn 17:17)

A practical method towards keeping ourselves ready for the gift of sanctification is to read the life of the saints and learn from their ways of living and praying. Listening to spiritual discourses and participating in discussions on spirituality also help. Central to all our efforts though, is our dependence on the grace and strength of the Lord. Essentially, we need to nurture the desire to be holy, so that God can take over, and work and pray daily towards becoming and staying holy.


Response: Your words, O Lord, are Spirit and life.


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