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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THE CALL TO HOLINESS
(Part 17)

NOT CONFORMING TO THIS AGE


September 3, 2017

Today’s readings:
Romans 12:1-2
Matthew 16:21-27


We are called to holiness. We are to be “holy and pleasing to God” (Rom 12:1b). To be holy is to be set apart. It is to be not of this world. It is to think not as the world does but as God does. “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom 12:2a).

How do we become holy? We need to “discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Rom 12:2b). God wills for us to be holy. We are to be good and to do good. We are to live lives that are pleasing to Him. We are to strive for Christian perfection.

Many people think as the world does, and not according to the mind of God. Even Peter was not spared such human ways of thinking, which to us seem reasonable. Told by Jesus that he would suffer greatly and be killed, “Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, ‘God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.’” (Mt 16:22). Peter’s well-intentioned thought was very natural. But it was not according to the mind of God. In fact, in desiring to keep Jesus from his passion, he was doing something unholy, the very work of the evil one. So Jesus rebuked him in turn. “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” (Mt 16:23).

Then Jesus taught them what was the will of God for his disciples. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mt 16:24). Totally opposite from what the world desires. Not self-fulfillment but self-denial. Not embrace of comfort but of the cross. Not following one’s own desires but only Jesus. This was how a true disciple is to be set apart.

To be holy is to allow God to turn our world topsy-turvy. We must know that the ways of the world are so diametrically different and opposed to the ways of God. The world will bring us to destruction. Only Jesus saves. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Mt 16:25).

Be holy, as God is holy.

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