THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE CALL TO HOLINESS
WHEN THE SAINTS COME MARCHING IN
November 1, 2016
1 John 3:1-3
As Christians, we are called to be perfect as the heavenly
Father is perfect. This will only happen when we finally enter
heaven after being purified in Purgatory. Since we are “the
children of God” (1 Jn 3:1a), “we shall be like
him” (1 Jn 3:2d), when we finally make it to heaven
and “we shall see him as he is.” (1 Jn 3:2e).
God’s children, we are made for heaven. But who can
enter heaven? “Who may go up the mountain of the Lord?
Who can stand in his holy place?” (Ps 24:3). It is he
who is “clean of hand and pure of heart, who has not
given his soul to useless things, what is vain.” (Ps
24:4). Do you want to go to heaven? “Everyone who has
this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.”
(1 Jn 3:3). He must live pure. He must be
holy as God is holy.
can one become holy? How can one enter heaven and see God?
It is by living out the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-10). “Blessed
are the clean of heart, for they will see God.” (Mt
5:8). The other beatitudes point to this same reality. The
peacemakers are called children of God (Mt 5:9). Then like
two bookends, the poor in spirit and those persecuted for
the sake of righteousness are given the kingdom of heaven.
is an interesting thing. Persecution because of one’s
righteousness brings great blessing. “Blessed are you
when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind
of evil against you falsely because of me.” (Mt 5:11).
Is that not what was done to Jesus? If we are to be like him,
then it is a blessing when we also suffer like him. It is
part of our prophetic witness. “Thus they persecuted
the prophets who were before you.” (Mt 5:12b). Embrace
of the cross brings one to eternal life. “Rejoice and
be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Mt
in fact were those in the vision of John, those sealed with
the mark of God on their foreheads (Rev 7:3b-4a)? They were
those who “stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes” (Rev 7:9b). They were the holy
ones! In particular, “Who are those wearing white robes”
(Rev 7:13b)? Jesus said, “These are the ones who have
survived the time of great distress” (Rev 7:14b), that
is, intense persecution. They were those who, like the Lord,
shed their blood. As such, “they have washed their robes
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev
today’s darkened world, with the devil and his world
powers incessantly assaulting faith, family and life, those
who stand for Jesus and strive to be holy and perfect will
suffer persecution, even martyrdom. Will many endure and survive
such great distress? In the end, could there be “a great
multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race,
people, and tongue” (Rev 7:9a)? Or will there be a small
flock? This depends on the work of evangelization.
need to share Christ so that people will
meet Christ and live Christ. So that people
will walk the path of holiness. So that people will truly
be saved, and receive what is due them (justice), according
to God’s intent for them. “He will receive blessings
from the Lord, and justice from his saving God.” (Ps
live pure. So evangelize and be persecuted
for doing so. So be a holy warrior. And so be assured of entering
heaven. “Such is the generation that seeks him, that
seeks the face of the God of Jacob.” (Ps 24:6).