“He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:4-5)
In today’s first reading, St. Paul describes a Christian as:
1. A person who is blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
2. A person chosen in Christ to be holy and blameless.
3. A person destined in love to be united to God in the fullness of time.
The mark of Christ in us which we received on the day of our baptism has already made us God’s chosen elect. As a Christian, you are different. You are not like everybody else. You have been chosen for holiness. Holiness simply means “set apart”.
To be holy is to operate on a different style of thinking from that of the world. You have what it takes to live a blameless life if you choose to. Because you have the Spirit of God living inside you, your body is not just ordinary, it is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Since I was born, I have never seen a child of the President begging for food in the street. This can only happen when the child in question does not know who his/her father is. And I bet, the day such a child would know, that would be the day he/she would stop begging. At times, we Christians live like paupers spiritually when there is so much abundance around us.
The fruits of the Holy Spirits are never in short supply in our lives when we have the Holy Spirit living right inside us. We defeat ourselves by assuming holiness of life is difficult. Do you really know to what extent you are capable of doing good? We need to stop focusing on our weakness and explore the rich depth of goodness that is inside of us.
Jesus is not happy with the Pharisees because they left their duty and became stumbling blocks for people who wanted to draw close to God. For us who are ministers of the word and sacraments, Jesus’ stern condemnation of these religious leaders should give us room to examine our consciences. When people draw close to us, are they drawn to repentance and personal holiness or do they become more scandalized? Are we living up to our full potentials as lights for the world or we are busy pushing people further away from God?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, cleanse me from inside out that I may live by the Spirit. Amen.
Bible Study: Ephesians 1:1-10, Psalm 98 and Luke 11:47-54).