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Worthy of Being Holy

December 2, 2013

Reflection

 

When I was in the third grade, I went into the church after school and washed my face in holy water because I wanted so much to be holy. One student saw what I had done and told the nun on yard duty. When Sister asked me if this was true, I answered with clearly, "No!" When she inquired as to why my face was wet, I replied without pause, "I must be perspiring." 

 

I have wondered what Sister would have said to me if I had told her the truth that I had washed myself because I wanted holiness. I was too young to understand that a person cannot make herself holy, but can yield to the holiness she is because of God. As an adult I find it amazing to have experienced this instinctual movement to cleanse in order to be worthy, to be holy. 

 

These readings serve to remind us that we are cleansed and made holy by God; the psalm invites us to rejoice for all that has been done for us. In the gospel story the centurion asks Jesus to heal his servant, but replies "I am not worthy," when Jesus moves to go to the house where the servant lays ill. The centurion has faith in Jesus to heal his servant, but believes that Jesus can heal the servant then and there; his faith amazes Jesus.

 

My granddaughter visited me many years ago when she was just three years old.  As we passed a church, she recognized it as such and whispered in a hushed tone, "Oh, the Holy."  I parked the car and took her inside. She held my hand as we walked into the darkened church and looked around in awe at the few people praying, lighting candles, resting. For her it was all the presence of "the Holy."

 

Questions:
 

When we recite the prayer of the centurion as we prepare to receive Eucharist, will we remember that we have been cleansed and have been made worthy by God?  Will we recognize the Holy in each other, in ourselves? Let us have faith...

 

Prayer:

 

Oh generous and gracious God, may I grow more freely into who you have called me to be, a woman created in your image, cleansed and freely gifted to reflect your holiness just because I am. 

 

By Josie Broehm

 

Monday, December 02, 2013 
Advent Weekday
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Isaiah 2:1-5 or Isaiah 4:2-6*
Psalm 122:1-9
Matthew 8:5-11

 

Tags: Advent Retreat, St Agatha, St Agatha Family, Online Advent Retreat, Advent, Holy, worthiness, worthy, holiness

Comments

Michelke  |  .  |  December 3, 2013  |  1:33 AM

This reflection, this desire to be holy reminds me of the lyrics of a song: Please be patient with me, God is not through with me yet. Indeed,we are a work in progress, He's not done with us.


Fr. Bill Axe  |  here  |  December 2, 2013  |  5:51 PM

I am intrigued by someone wanting to be "holy." I've never thought of striving for holiness--goodness, compassion, concern, honesty--but never "holiness," yet, this reflection reminds me that maybe this is what the sum total of all our striving is really about. As I think of the special friends I've had in the course of my life--I think "holy" describes those that have been and those that are, now, closest to me. I wonder, though, why I haven't thought to want that quality, myself. Maybe the word has been hi-jacked by negativity--people who are "holier than thou." Anyway, I think I may want to reconsider my goals after reading this reflection. Thank you.


Lorna H  |  Fontana  |  December 2, 2013  |  4:35 PM

Many times we may believe we aren't "good enough" to live a good life. Some people may give up on even trying to do good because they don't feel worthy. If we can remember that we are all made in God's image & we are all worthy, and it is not only "some people" who are worthy, that may be more conducive to helping others. It may bring more peace into our world than looking down on others and judging. It begins within our own hearts. 


Irene  |  Redondo Beach  |  December 2, 2013  |  9:40 AM

Lord, help me to be holy today, Amen.

Irene


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