Sunday, November 29, 2015

Universal Call to Holiness

Universal Call to Holiness

1st Sunday of Advent

1 Thessalonians 3:12–4:2

The universal call to holiness for each and every person is notable in many writings of the church.  This call has been prevalent in particular in the writings of Vatican II and is found often in writings pertaining to stewardship today.  Using one’s spiritual gifts is one way to live one’s faith in Jesus Christ as a disciple and may fulfill in one’s life a call to holiness.

St. Paul’s prays for holiness with the Thessalonians.  “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all…so as to strengthen your hearts to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of the Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.”  But he does not end with just a prayer asking God for love for then, he asks God to work through each of them through the teachings and by the example he has left for them, to allow them to show their love for one another.  “We earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God and as you are conducting yourselves you do so even more.  For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.”  This prayer of love received by God and given to one another is St. Paul’s prayer for holiness for the Thessalonians.

As was true for the Thessalonians, in the Eucharistic prayer we use today, we continue to pray for God’s grace and love to be poured down upon us so we may continue to live this life of holiness as well.  The definition of a charism is a spiritual gift from God to be used to serve another.  Whenever we are serving God, and sharing our spiritual gifts, we are in fact sharing in the universal call to holiness as disciples who are living their faith in Jesus Christ and hopeful for his coming this first Sunday of Advent.

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