We are God’s People, we belong to Him

Many young people today may have a misunderstanding of holiness, perhaps due to the portrayal of saints as individuals who perform miracles or never make mistakes, which can be difficult to connect with. Holiness, however, is primarily about belonging to God and living in a love-bound communion. It’s important to consider alternative paths to holiness that may be overlooked in our current context.

A Call to be Perfect

Jesus challenges his disciples to go beyond the strict justice of the Old Testament and embrace a new way of responding to violence and injustice. Instead of seeking revenge or resisting evil, Jesus calls his followers to forgive, to turn the other cheek, and to give generously even to their enemies. This radical love, which imitates the love of God, requires a willingness to let go of everything and to put oneself totally at the service of others.

Superficiality and carelessness are the roots of many evils

As followers of Christ, we must strive to balance justice and mercy in our lives. Discernment and humility are key in this journey, guided by the Holy Spirit, to live a just and merciful life, fulfilling God’s law with righteousness. Let us avoid superficiality and carelessness, with the help of grace and discipline, to live a life that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.

Keeping the Commandments and Unable to Enter the Kingdom of Heaven

Keeping the commandments will not be enough to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus teaches that the commandments have deeper implications beyond just avoiding physical harm and that the true measure of obedience lies in the motives of the heart. Through his teachings, Jesus emphasizes the importance of reconciling with others, avoiding adulterous thoughts and relationships, remaining faithful in marriage, and speaking truthfully without the need for oaths.

A Light to the Gentiles

The disciple of Christ does not fear the waves and courageously faces them, even when they are raging. He does not give up hope to save a sister or a brother, even when s/he is in a humanly desperate situation: a slave of drugs and alcohol, unbridled passion, irascible, aggressive and intractable character. In whatever situation he is, he will be saved by the disciple of Christ.

God comes to remain. The Holy Spirit calms our fear of abandonment

After the past Christmas period filled with so many challenges, we are invited to begin the liturgical (and existential) Ordinary Time with the security of God’s faithful love and presence in our life. We are not alone in facing this new year. Fortified by the Holy Spirit, may each one of us become, too, a dependable and loving reference person in the life of those whom the Lord will entrust to our care.