FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE CALL TO HOLINESS
THE BIBLE – 2
June 23, 2016
Today’s gospel: Matthew 7:21-29
There are many supposed-to-be Christians who may not make it to heaven. Among them are those who die when they are nominal, lapsed, fallen away, living lives of serious sin, embracive of the culture of death, dissidents from the Church Magisterium, assaulting holy Mother Church, etc. So as Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven” (v.21a).
These would include even those who serve Christ and the Church, and serve even in spectacular ways. They think they are assured of eternal life, but they will be surprised on the day of judgment. “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’” (v.22-23).
What then must we do to gain eternal life? We must live lives of holiness. And what does that entail? How do we get there? As Jesus says, the one who will enter is “only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (v.21b).
So how do we know the will of the Father? It is all there in Jesus’ teachings and the rest of the Bible (and also in Church teachings). To be holy is to be like Christ, to be founded on the Rock that is Christ. To know the will of the Father is to read, meditate on and study the words of Christ in the gospels and the words of God in the whole Bible. “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” (v.24).
We face many challenges to the Christian life, and even more in our quest for holiness. There are the world, the flesh and the devil, all conspiring to bring us down. And right now there is a tsunami of evil over the whole world. How can we survive, and even thrive? We build on rock, that is, on Christ and God’s word. “The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.” (v.25).
Now we are talking about holiness. Most Catholics do not even know or read the Bible, and are not even aware of or doing anything about the call to holiness. But reading is one thing, getting into the Bible is another. This is why our Live the Word ministry, getting Catholics to do Liturgical Bible Study (LBS), is so crucial. At the end of the LBS, we have the word of life (the hibla). We then take that word into our daily lives, and strive to live it. Otherwise, we may be reading the Bible, but that still will not bring us to holiness and to heaven. We would still be greatly at risk in the world. We would be given false security in technically living out our covenant to read the Bible every day. “And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” (v.26-27).
Read the Bible prayerfully daily, meditate on God’s words in your quiet time, study what Jesus himself and other authentic Church leaders teach, and apply what the Spirit tells you to your day-to-day lives. I assure you, you will be well on your way to holiness, and to heaven, as you sit at the feet of Jesus together with the crowds. “When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” (v.28-29).
Go to Jesus himself, and go to his words in the Bible. You will be amazed. And you will be able to know the will of the Father. Holiness will not be far behind. Heaven will be within reach.
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