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For some people holiness means a life overflowing with virtue and goodness. For some it is a place like a church or an air-conditioned adoration chapel. For others it is kneeling down, closing their eyes and praying the rosary as slowly and fervently as possible. Others still regard holiness as the feeling they get after going to church.

In the gospel, the Lord shows us what holiness really is. Holiness is not a place, a mood or a feeling. Holiness is an action word because it is to be discovered in love of neighbor.

The Lord says, “You must be holy as I, your Lord, am holy. And then He proceeds by saying, “Love your neighbor as I have loved you. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” In other words, the surest way to be holy is to love and to serve. Holiness is not a matter of feeling, holiness is an action word.

The season of Lent invites us to holiness. But it is an invitation for us not simply to spend 24 hours a day in church. The holiness of Lent is not simply to discover the holiness of God each time the priest elevates the host or chalice. The holiness that is expected of us is service of the poor, of the under-privileged, of the forgotten. It is always good, no matter how small your salary is, to set aside something for the poor. No matter how big our salary has become, we must never forget part of the wage we receive, part of the blessing we receive should go to the poor. It is not only a spiritual exercise, it carries with it a promise that those who give will receive a hundredfold.

When we receive the Holy Eucharist, let it not be only a summit – the Eucharist is always a beginning. After receiving the Eucharist, let us go forth and do the loving and sharing and servicing that holiness requires from all of us.

BE HOLY

Mt 5:48

Jesus In My Heart

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