FRIDAY: Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The title “Holy Sinners” is ambiguous. Holiness is not a protection against temptation and sin. No! Holiness is a life-long struggle with ambiguities and obscurities with a deliberate consciousness to rise above the various thorns in the flesh. The more we grow in holiness, the more intense the war between the flesh and the spirit gets. It could be very frustrating, at times (2Cor.12:7-9). The truth is, no one is perfect (Rom.3:23). No one can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am purified of my sin (Pro.20:9).” In one way or another, we are victims and sufferers of impurity, selfishness, worldliness, covetousness, sensuality and the list go on. Even then, God himself is trying to save us (Rom.5:8).
True holiness is to have the courage and humility to admit there are invisible thorns tormenting us; we must allow God to set us free (Prov.28:13). Duplicity is the greatest obstacle in the way of holiness (1Jn.1:8). It contradicts God and Christ and denies the individual of the Holy Spirit (1Jn.1:10). Whoever contradicts God ultimately contradicts and discredits himself and in turn, makes a mockery of holiness. How? Because truth is the essence of holiness. If truth evades us, then the Holy Spirit takes leave of us. Thus, there is no holiness without the Holy Spirit.
Christ Jesus, in Luke 12:54-59 challenges us to enter deep into the recesses of our respective souls and wage ware against all forms of deceit and superficiality that exist there and confront them. True Holiness is empowered by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which enables us to discern, to judge for ourselves the difference between good and evil. God knows we are sinners through and through. There is no way we can conceal our true selves from God and pretend we are holier than thou (Ps.139).
St. Paul in Romans 7:18-25, lends us courage in our strife with sin and our struggles towards holiness. Despite being specially chosen by God. Paul confessed he was still a victim of temptations and sin (2Cor.12:7-9). He described himself as a wretched man. This is the kind of sincerity God and Christ expect of all us that while we are called to mirror the perfection of the Father (Matt.5:48) we do not forget that we are still wounded; we are still victims of temptations, sin, and evil. We can never justify ourselves. This is uniquely God’s responsibility. God called us to share his glory. God himself, in the end, will purify us, justify us and glorify us (Rom.8:28-30). Let us praised God for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
O God, have mercy on me a sinner.