From the Deacon
Today’s readings invite us to realize who we are in relation to God, our neighbor, and creation. The first reading says: “’Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.’” This code of holiness is not something unattainable in our lives, that which is only reserved for a select few. Nor is it supernatural or merely spiritual behavior that occurred in the past.
Holiness is a reality that is as embedded in the human being as is DNA because it is a free gift that is given to us from the first moment we were created by God. In this moment of supreme love, God instills in the being part of his divinity by blowing the “Ruah;” his spirit. Saint Paul tells us: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
Pope Francis tells us that “holiness does not consist of a few heroic gestures, but of many small acts of daily love. Each one of us can love the other as Christ has loved us. The path of holiness is so simple.” “Love means serving and giving one’s life. Serving means not putting one’s own interests first, detoxifying oneself from the poisons of greed and competition; fighting the cancer of indifference and the worm of self-referentiality…Giving one’s life is getting out of selfishness to make existence a gift. The Lord has a plan of love for each one of us, each one has to follow that path of holiness”.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus reveals to us the essence of who we are, “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.” And he continues: “For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? And he ends: “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
The fact that we have been adopted as sons and daughters of God in Baptism and have received all the gifts and sanctifying grace through the Sacraments reveals to us who we are, and what is our nature, so to live radically in the love of God.
Jesus tells us that before, they acted under the law of retaliation in which revenge was allowed for a wrong. Now, Jesus asks us not to respond in the same way. On the contrary, the proposal is going to be more radical, that of loving one’s enemies. This new teaching leaves his disciples, and perhaps us, baffled because the most logical thing is to take revenge on the one who offends. And not only for them, this current time also continues to question our way of being Christian.
Today more than ever we need to live authentic holiness, beginning with ourselves. By welcoming God’s love as a gift, we adopt a type of life that transcends our neighbor and creation.
Peace, Deacon Salvador Mejia, OFM.
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