Called to Be Holy

January 15, 2017 | N W | Baptism, Commitment, Discipleship, Family, Father Salvador, Grace, Ordinary Time

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 15, 2017 – Year A
Readings: Is 49:3, 5-6 / Ps 40 / 1 Cor 1:1-3 / Jn 1:29-34
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

As part of our Catholic tradition we use a lot of signs, symbols and colors in our church.  For instance, when our priest’s and deacon’s vestments, altar cloths, and the rest of the art and environment in our sanctuary are mostly colored green, we are in the season that we call “Ordinary Time.”  In fact, it is anything but ordinary, because all of the liturgical seasons are extraordinary, supernatural, and spiritual.  This period is given to us by our Holy Mother Church so that we can reflect on the meaning of discipleship.   

This is the time of year when we should once again ask ourselves questions like, “What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?” and “What are we being told to do as God’s children?”  In today’s second reading, which is taken from the Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, the Apostle reminds us that we who are sanctified in Jesus Christ are called to be holy.   

Last Monday we celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, which also reminds us of our own Baptism; the day when we became Children of God, temples of the Holy Spirit, brothers and sisters of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and heirs of God’s Kingdom.  That was the glorious day when we became holy in the complete sense of the word.   

Time and again we are reminded by the sacred scriptures that we should continue to nourish the sanctifying Grace that we received in Baptism.   

If you have a new car, you are confident that it will give you the kind of service that it was intended to give; that is, to take you from one place to another without any mechanical or electrical problems along the way.  But common sense tells us that we cannot just keep on driving it every day without refilling its tank with gasoline, having the oil changed, and replacing tires, batteries, and other car parts on a regular basis, so that it will continue to function.  And yes, we don’t put water instead of gasoline in the gas tank, nor cooking oil in the engine.  We follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and specifications.   

We do the same things with our physical bodies.  We eat the right foods, drink plenty of water, and exercise physically and mentally to remain healthy.  Common wisdom tells us that, if we take good care of our cars, which after many years will end up in the junk yard, and take good care of our bodies, which will eventually perish, the more we should take care of our souls that will live forever.   

And at this point, I just would like to say what I’ve said a good number of times here in our church:  that my homily today is not so much for you who are here in church every Sunday.  You are doing just fine.  This is for your friends, and maybe members of your families and relatives who are not here and perhaps don’t see the importance of spiritual nourishment on a regular basis.  Our Holy Mother Church reminds all of us gathered here this morning that, just as we could not expect to have a healthy body by eating the right food only once a month or doing physical and mental exercises only once a year, we also can’t have a healthy and holy soul without living the teachings of God’s words in the sacred scriptures 24/7 all throughout our lives. 

In Chapter 7 of the Gospel of Matthew, the Lord Jesus said, “Everyone who listens to these words of Mine and does not act on them will be like the fool who built his house on sand.  But everyone who listens to these words of Mine and acts on them will be like the wise man who built his house on rock.  The rain fell, the floods came, the winds blew and buffeted the house, but it did not collapse because it had been set solidly on rock.”  

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