THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE CALL TO HOLINESS
CALLED TO HOLINESS - 2
As God’s people, we are called to holiness. “Be
holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” (Lv 19:2b).
To be holy is to be set apart. To become holy we must follow
God’s ways and obey His commands. The most basic command
of God is to love Him and to love our neighbor.
we love God, we will “keep (His) sabbaths” (Lv
19:3b) and “not turn aside to idols” (Lv 19:4a).
He is the only God, and we give Him the praise and worship
that is His due. And if we are to be holy, we must avoid sin,
which is an offense against God. We should “be blameless,
innocent of grave sin.” (Ps 19:14b). Mortal sin cuts
us off from God. But we must strive to avoid all sin. We even
pray, “Cleanse me from my inadvertent sins.” (Ps
aside from our relationship to God, has to do with our relationship
to our neighbor. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
(Lv 19:18b). This means we do not sin against our neighbor.
This entails a number of things, for example:
shall not steal.” (Lv 19:11a)
“You shall not deceive or speak falsely to one another.”
“You shall not exploit your neighbor.” (Lv 19:13a).
“You shall not commit robbery.” (Lv 19:13b).
“You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment.”
“You shall not go about spreading slander among your
people” (Lv 19:16a).
“You shall not hate any of your kindred in your heart.”
“Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your
own people.” (Lv 19:18a).
You can see from the above that many Christians fail in loving
their neighbor. This is true in parishes, in Church organizations,
in Christian communities. Those who do such things are failing
this love for neighbor is especially for the poor and oppressed.
It is about social justice, being God’s instrument in
providing for those who have less in life. This comes about
in a number of ways, for example:
Leaving “gleanings of your harvest .... for the poor
and the alien.” (Lv 19:9-10).
Being just to workers, and “not withhold overnight
the wages of your laborer.” (Lv 19:13c).
Not looking down on the afflicted. “You shall not
insult the deaf, or put a stumbling block in front of the
blind” (Lv 19:14a).
It is not just right and holy to do good for the poor, but
it has to do with our eternal destiny. Jesus spoke about the
judgment of the nations at the end of time. He will separate
the sheep from the goats (Mt 25:32-33). Those who will go
to heaven are those who fed the hungry, gave drink to the
thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, cared for
the ill and visited the prisoner (Mt 25:34-36). Those who
will go to hell are those who did not do good to the poor
(Mt 25:41-43). Loving the poor is actually loving God. “Amen,
I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers
of mine, you did for me.” (Mt 25:40).
all of what we have seen is very difficult, and even contrary
to the ways and wisdom of man and the world. If we are to
be holy, we must put on the mind and heart of God. We must
seek the transformation of our ways of thinking, speaking
and acting. “Let the words of my mouth be acceptable,
the thoughts of my heart before you, Lord, my rock and my
redeemer.” (Ps 19:15). How can that happen?
must read, study and meditate on God’s word in the Bible.
God’s instructions about His ways are in this holy book.
His laws are perfect, trustworthy, right, clear, pure, true
and just (Ps 19:8-10). His word refreshes the soul, gives
wisdom to the simple, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eye
(Ps 19:8-9). His word endures forever (Ps 19:10b). “By
them your servant is warned; obeying them brings much reward.”
(Ps 19:12). By the word of God in the Bible, one is enabled
and empowered to grow in holiness.