Are We Holy Yet?

2022년 10월 23일

Are We Holy Yet?

< Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time >

  God calls everyone of us to holiness. But what does that mean? Do we have to attend Mass every day? Say the rosary before going to bed? Memorize the Bible? Take a bath in holy water? While all these things may be interesting, they don’t make us holy, that is, closer to God. In fact, in our lives of faith, external acts of faith usually come AFTER we’ve experienced the presence of God in our lives. God already loves us and wants us to experience love, mercy, forgiveness and healing in our lives. All we have to do is gratefully accept it.

In today’s gospel, Jesus tells a story about two men who went into the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee; the other a tax collector. (In modern language we might say one was a priest and the other a garbage collector.) The problem was, the Pharisee was convinced he was already holy and ran through a list of his spiritual practices, fasting and praying to impress God. As if this weren’t bad enough (as it flows from pride), he compared himself to the tax collector. For his part, the tax collector (a despicable occupation by oppressed people’s standard) could not even lift his eyes to heaven but bowed low, beat his breast and prayed, “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.” Jesus tells us this man received God’s approval, the first one did not. God is close to the poor and especially to the broken hearted. A truly holy person does not even think he or she is holy. They just know they need God. Mindful of our own faults and failures, let us never tire of asking for Gods mercy and thereby becoming truly holy in the process.