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Lenten Reflections '13: Wk 6
Through Holiness towards Wholeness
Once I was confronted by a question posed by an active JY, ‘Father what according to your opinion is the definition of Holiness?’ My spontaneous answer was, “Holiness is wholeness". While meditating on this simple sentence, things became very complicated. It gave way to many new insights; some of which were quite challenging.
1. The concept of Holiness constantly demands a ‘journeying spirit’ from a believer. The Second Vatican Council reminded all the faithful-clergy religious and laity-that we are called to holiness. Holiness is not an option for a few! Every baptized person is called to holiness, to become a saint and to be whole.
Jesus preached holiness of life to each and every one of his disciples. "You therefore are to be perfect even as you’re your Heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt. 5: 45). He also sends the Holy Spirit to all believers who strive towards perfection (Mark 12:30). For this journey towards holiness, Christ is our model (LG 40).
2. Our journey towards Holiness should start from a spirit of reconciliation. Awareness of our sinful situation is the first step to holiness. The journey of the prodigal son back to his Father is a model (CCC 1439) for us as we undertake this journey ourselves. Though he was living with pigs, he came to ‘his senses’. He doesn’t deny his sinfulness but fully accepts what he has done. This strengthened him to rise up and start a journey back to his Father’s house.
Our interaction with God the Father and our acceptance of His love and forgiveness will help us to grow in holiness. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is essential for our journey towards holiness.
3. The Spirit of Charity (Caritas) is a sign of our growth in holiness. We will grow in the fruits, virtues of the Holy Spirit (Galatians, 5:22-23). This transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Let us remember that every saint was a sinner first. It’s a journey, a journey towards wholeness that goes on till our last breath.
4. Lastly, Jesus is our role model in this journey. Jesus in his earthly life, never claimed to be the Answer- He said he is was the Way. Christian Gospel is always moving, going deep. Remember, Holiness is the product of grace and God gives grace only to the humble. So don’t stop, keep walking with humility towards our goal - Wholeness.
Fr. Cherian Nereveetil
National Pastor, Jesus Youth India