He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to the design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began… If someone were to ask, do you consider yourself holy? Most of us probably would respond with an answer that indicates we are a “work in progress”. Sometimes, holiness seems to be out of our reach. As St. Paul wrote in Rom3:23: All men have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. When we acknowledge our sins and confess them in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are on the road of holiness. Through this sacrament (and all others) we receive the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus.
St. Paul in today’s 2nd Letter to Timothy tells us that holiness is not based on our accomplishments in the past, present or future. Rather holiness is God’s design for each one of us.
My brothers, count it pure joy when you are involved in every sort of trial. Realize that when your faith is tested it makes for endurance. (Jm1:2-3) Holiness is achieved when we persevere in trust that God is in control. Abram trusted God who told him: I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you. I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
Holiness is about deepening our relationship with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We may focus more during Lent on holiness. Our Lenten practices and all we do to practice our Catholic faith each day of the year, must be linked to our loving relationship with God.
Jesus knew that Peter, James and John (and the other apostles) would struggle and become disillusioned by His suffering and death. In today’s gospel story of the Transfiguration, they see the glorified Jesus Christ. Jesus gives Peter, James and John this vision to strengthen them…to see that beyond the cross, would be glory. In other words, Jesus is telling them that everything is going to be ok. In a similar way, when the storms of life rage, and we lean towards or become disillusioned, we listen to the words of Jesus: Rise, and do not be afraid.
Our problems may not go away or be solved, but knowing that we have the loving presence of Jesus Christ always with us and the wisdom of God the Holy Spirit, we too can say that everything is going to be ok.
God bless us all always! Deacon Mike