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Be Holy

First Reading: 1 Peter 1:10-16

Beloved:
Concerning the salvation of your souls
the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours
searched and investigated it
investigating the time and circumstances
that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated
when it testified in advance
to the sufferings destined for Christ
and the glories to follow them.
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you
with regard to the things that have now been announced to you
by those who preached the Good News to you
through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven,
things into which angels longed to look.

Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly,
and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Like obedient children,
do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance
but, as he who called you is holy,
be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct,
for it is written, Be holy because I am holy.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Gospel: Mark 10:28-31

Peter began to say to Jesus,
“We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

NAB

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Every once in a while, one verse in Scripture will catch my attention and plant itself firmly in my heart. Once it takes hold, I find myself imitating Mary and pondering “all the things” in my heart. The words give me clarity, or become the refrain to my prayers, or cause me to dwell with the Word until it changes me. It happened to me with the reading from 1 Peter. These words are taking root: “Like obedient children…as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, Be yourselves holy because I am holy.”

Like obedient children, who love and trust the Father, be holy. As a child and a mother, the simplicity in this is so easy, and yet the practice is much harder! How I long for my children to just trust me, to just listen, to stop asking “Why do we have to?” And then, how delighted I am when they do respond obediently, when they do trust, when they rise to my hopes and expectations! God the Father must also smile so wide when we grow in holiness and make efforts to more completely do His will.

But it is so hard. So. Hard.

I am a child, the eldest, strong-willed, independent, and definitely like things to go my own stubborn way. I do not always choose what is better, or trust, or listen. As a child and youth, some choices disappointed my parents. And now? I am a sinner just like the rest, and certainly disappoint our Father.

Thank God for the Sacraments, so that I can meet Him in my brokenness and imperfect-but-trying-to-do-better conduct. Thank God He reaches down from Heaven and shows me again and again how to be holy, as He is holy. Thank God for loving me like a child, weak and in need of constant instruction and guidance. With His grace, I too, can one day (hopefully!) attain holiness, and make Him smile the widest smile upon me.

Today, try to trust God a little bit more, as a child trusts her mother and father. If you find it hard, let God know and ask him to increase your trust!

photo credit

Gina Fensterer is a wife, daughter, mother, friend, homeschooling mama and Colorado native. You can find out more about her here.

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