January 19th (2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time)
…called to be holy…
My dear friends, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. As we revel in the bountiful snowfall with which the Lord blesses us this winter – snowmobiling, snow angeling, ice angling, snowman-building, snow sledding and tubing, snow skiing, snow blowing and shoveling and pushing – we are also invited into an ever deeper relationship with God. In other words, we are called to be holy.
“Hold on there, Fr. Matt; I don’t know if I want to be holy. I just want to be … you know … me!”
That brings up 2 very good (and very important) questions: What does it mean to be holy? And, Who am I? (Who are you?) Very simply, holiness means being set apart for God and God’s purposes. The altar at church is holy, because it has been set apart for one purpose: for the sacrifice (Jesus) offered at Mass. Likewise, the chalice, paten, ciborium, and other sacred vessels that we use at Mass are holy because they receive the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus, and they are used to bring these gifts to us. Can you see where this is leading yet? …
What (or rather, who) else has been set aside to receive the Body and Blood of Christ and to carry these gifts to others? Moreover, who has been set apart to become the Body of Christ right here in Marion, Bowler, Big Falls, Tigerton, Eland, Caroline, and Wittenberg? That’s right: you and me. Like it or not, in order to really be me, I must be holy.
John the Baptist again shows us the way (or at least the One): Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ You and I know people – some friends, some co-workers, some family members – who do not yet know Him. Our mission is to show Him to them – to invite them to come and see.
“But, um… Fr. Matt … I’ve got enough to worry about without being some sort of public Jesus freak. I mean, that’s your job!”
Yes, it is (thank God!). But it’s also our job. We all have our own little anxieties, our own whimpy worries, our own little wishy wants. But God – who created us all – wants so much more for us. God wants His world back! He wants us to be fully alive! It is too little, the Lord says, for you to merely be about your own measly business. No … I will make you a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth! May we have the courage to be who we truly are – holy in His sight.
Peace to all of you, my friends, this Holy Day, and to all who love the Lord in simplicity of heart,