Holiness - Identity of the Children of God

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Every year, on 01 November, we celebrate the all saints day. Saint is a person who is holy. We call a holy person as a saint. I invite you to reflect on the word holy which is derived from the word “qadowsh” in Hebrew which means set apart. In the Bible, things are called holy if they are set apart for God or belong to God. So all the things are used in the temple are called holy because they are set apart from other things and being used only for God. So if we say a saint, it means that the person is set apart for God or she/he belongs to God. Now the question is how are we set apart for God? How do we become God’s possession?

We believe that through baptism we are united with Jesus’ death and resurrection. So when we are baptized, we are saved, we are set apart for God, we become God’s possession. As a matter of fact, St. John in his letter said: “We are God’s children now.”

Having the identity as the children of God is not easy. Sometimes it causes us a lot of distresses and sufferings. One of those is sometimes we are not easily being understood. As we know, some saints are excluded by their communities, like  St. John of the Cross and St. Bernadette Soubirous. However though they experienced lots of great difficulties, they bore the pain and maintained their identity as the children of God. So, after all distresses, “they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

 

In the Gospel, Jesus addressed those who are poor, mourned, meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness, merciful, clean of heart, peacemakers, insulted and persecuted, as blessed. It means that all things we experience in this world will be rewarded, all have meanings in the eyes of God; they are not just trivia.

So, let us go back to the word holy, we are reminded of our identity as the children of God. We have to keep, maintain, prove, and show it in our life. Our struggle and effort will show how faithful we are. Hopefully the merciful Father in heaven would welcome us in His kingdom and award us with His blessings. Amen.

 

(Written by: Fr. Reynold Agustinus Sombolayuk, OMI, his Homily in Daily Mass, 01 November 2016, at the Chapel of Bolduc House, Quezon City, Philippines)

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