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Sunday, January 16, 2005

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2nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
Psalm 40
John 1:29-34

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holiness: the meaning of life

You "have been consecrated in Christ Jesus and called to be a holy people." —1 Corinthians 1:2

We are "called to be holy." God the Father wants His children to be, act, work, think, talk, love, and live as He does. This is the meaning of holiness: to be like God "in every aspect" of our conduct (1 Pt 1:15).

Holiness is a gift from the all-holy God. Only by His grace can we become holy. Holiness comes through the Holy Spirit, that is, the Spirit Who makes us holy. However, we must choose to accept the Spirit's gift of holiness.

Without holiness, "no one can see the Lord" (Heb 12:14), that is, go to heaven. Therefore, the Lord orchestrates the events and details of our lives to give us a greater desire for holiness. He even allows us to suffer sorrows and tragedies to help us grow in holiness. In other words, He gives us some purgatory before our deaths. Moreover, holiness is so necessary that the Lord will purify after death those committed to Him and delay their entry into heaven to complete their holiness, if they are not yet "perfect in holiness" (1 Thes 5:23). However, to benefit from the Lord's organization of our lives to foster our holiness, we must trust the Lord, humbly deny ourselves, and obey Him. Then we will desire more strongly to become holy and we will become holy, be pleasing to the all-holy God, and live with Him and the holy ones forever in heaven.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to give me love, which increases my desire for holiness.

Promise:  "When you see the Spirit descend and rest on someone, it is He Who is to baptize with the Holy Spirit." —Jn 1:33

Praise:  Praise holy Jesus, risen Lord, King Who is to come!

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries' ten-day series of retreats starts at the end of April 2005. For a brochure, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004