Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

(I Peter 1:10-16; Mark 10:28-31)

Vatican II underlined what the first reading today proclaims.  Its Constitution on the Church called all Christians to holiness.  Perhaps because people mistakenly think that holiness precludes sexual ecstasy, they recoil at the thought.  But for the great majority of persons, marital love paves the way to holiness.

The reading from the First Letter of Peter points out that holiness is not an outcome of human effort alone but is aided by grace.  It shows how grace -- God’s favor -- is manifest in different ways.  First, it proposes the salvation of eternal life as the goal to which humans are to aspire.  Then it indicates that the Creator is the model of holiness as it quotes the Old Testament, “’Be holy because I am holy.’”

Trouble comes when we want to have our own way.  We insist on maintaining autonomy which makes us, not God, the ultimate ruler of our lives.  We will be surprised to learn that heeding God’s commands produces greater freedom than we can achieve with ourselves in control.