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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
These are beautiful readings today. “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. “Seek after holiness,” we hear in the first reading and then repeated in the Gospel. And then, Saint Paul has this beautiful line: “You are temples of the Holy Spirit.” So what does it mean to be holy? Holiness. Maybe at home, or right now, just take two seconds in your mind and try to define holiness. It’s a word we hear thrown around a lot, but we don’t always know how to define it or to define it correctly. Sometimes I ask seminarians, men who are studying to be priests, to define holiness. And they’ll say things like, “Holiness is waking up at “5am, holiness is not sinning, holiness is praying for an “hour each day in front of the Blessed Sacrament, “holiness is fasting three days a week, holiness is saying a “rosary every day,” and so on and so forth. You get the point, right? Holiness is X. And those things, those X’s, are part of holiness, but they don’t capture really the essence of holiness. Holiness is being God. Being with God. So I have a habit in my own life, I do a lot of spiritual reading. I read spiritual books constantly, everyday. And whenever I come across a definition or quote about holiness, I write it down. And I have some quotes written down on holiness. So I’m going to read a few of them, now I’m not going to read all of them because I only have two minutes for this Mercy Home Mass Homily, we’d be here for like an hour. But let me read a couple and they get to, I think, something really important about holiness, okay? The first is from a fellow named Donald DeMarco, he says, “Holiness belongs primarily to God. “Whatever degree of holiness an individual possesses does “not originate within himself, but through his “intimacy with the Divine. “Holiness is not an illusion, it is an “objective reality apparent in the life of one who “radiates the love of God.” So what he’s saying is we don’t create holiness ourselves, holiness is in God and as long as we’re connected to God, then we will obtain holiness. Okay, Georges Bernanos, who was an author about a century ago, French author, he writes, “Holiness is an “adventure, in fact, the only one there is. “Anyone who has understood that holiness is an adventure, “has penetrated to the heart of the Catholic faith.” Blaise Pascal, another author from a few centuries ago writes, “The serene, silent beauty of “a holy life is the most powerful influence in the “world, next to the might of the spirit of God.” And then let me read one from our Pope Emeritus Benedict the 16th, he says, “Holiness does not consist in “never having aired or sin. “Holiness increases the capacity for conversion for “repentance for willingness to start again and “especially for reconciliation and forgiveness. “It is not the fact that we have never aired, but “our capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness which “makes us saints, and we can only learn from this way of holiness.” So there we go, to be perfect is not to never have sinned, to be perfect is to be open to the possibility for conversion, which means we are going to sin. So friends, we don’t need to strictly wake up early and say our rosaries, those things are all important, but be united to God, be united to God primarily in your spiritual life, and you will be on the way to holiness. Amen.
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