Day 6 | The Call to Holiness
BY ED NUÑEZ | March 11, 2019
Holiness. What do you think of when you hear this term? I think of “the universal call to holiness,” a phrase attributed to the Second Vatican Council, whereby all people of God are called to strive for holiness in their lives.
Today’s readings call us to question our own holiness and the ways in which to strive for it. Moses is told to “Be holy, just as the Lord your God is holy.” In the Gospel, we hear the story of Matthew 25, where Jesus says, “Whatever you for one of these least brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Through reflection and action, both readings encourage us to discern what we need to do to strive for holiness.
One of my responsibilities as a campus minister at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago is running our freshman retreat program. One of the themes of the retreat is, coincidentally, holiness. I talk about it in this way with my students: holiness is defined in many ways, so we should contemplate on what it means for ourselves. For some, holiness means a sense of piety or devotion towards someone or something. For others, it might mean a sense of love, kindness, concern for and with others, or radical hospitality. During the retreat, I engage in many ways with the students where they are able to reflect on our own holiness as well as how other people are holy for us. The students have taught me that holiness is indeed for ALL people, and it involves much more than the individual—it involves finding ways in which to break down the systems of injustice, like racism, homophobia, sexism, etc. that inhibit people from striving for holiness and being fully themselves.
The “universal call to holiness” is truly for all of us. My students have shown me how to strive for that. Moreover, Jesus wants us to strive for that, as well.
Striving for holiness is a journey. So—maybe during this season of Lent we can take some time to reflect on our own holiness journey and accompany others in their journey too.
Ed Nuñez graduated from Creighton University in 2018 with a BA in justice and society and theology. At Creighton, he was involved with residential life, campus ministry, and service and justice programs. After graduation, Ed did a year of service with Amate House, working as a campus minister and support specialist at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Currently, Ed is back at Creighton as a graduate assistant in the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice and pursuing his MA in ministry.
The journey to holiness – a challenging one requiring tons of prayers and non-stop actions propelled by a spirit of humility.
Last year we prayed and discussed Pope Francis Exhortation “Exultet et Exultate”- ”rejoice and be glad”. The message for all of us was the invitation and expectation that we all become saints by following what Jesus said to us while He was with us – the Beatitudes and “Love one another as I have loved you.” We immersed ourselves in the message and it changed all of our lives. My change was to stop complaining about a person who was always difficult to be with and very annoying in her seeming compulsion to criticise what I did or how I did it. She had been recently unexpectedly widowed and I thought of Jesus messages of love and of humility and meekness. It gave me a whole new way of being the Christian woman I should have been- visiting her and letting her words that offended me roll over me and disipate and enable me to be a comforter to her.
Matthew Kelly discribes holiness as “moments we follow what God wants us to do. The more we tie these moments together the more we are living a holy life
“Whatsoever you do to the least of these you do to me” is not a metafore. We are all Christ, all part of the manifestation of God in physical form.
Holiness, sacredness, blessed, hallowed, all these could signify fingers pointing to the
Mystery of the divine presence in all creatures. The Holy is not a personal feeling or
concept, it is grace and unconditional Love. Maybe there are moments of utmost
connectedness, when our heart is filled with love and we know for sure, that now
we are ready to serve and accompany our brothers and sisters in need.
All the best. .
touched by that our heart is filled with love.and the feeling of connectednes thgrace. to share with the
brothers and sisters wherever. .