Holiness is for all PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 13:35

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Not everyone can be president of our country. But everyone can and should be a saint. Not everyone can be president because there are some stringent requirements for it, like being a natural-born citizen and a resident of the country for a number of years. But everyone can be holy because God calls all and empowers all to be so.

As president or, for that matter, as any holder of public position or status, certain skills are needed to carry out the specific demands of such position and status. But as a saint, no specific skills are needed. What is simply needed is to give our whole being to God, irrespective of our position and status in life.

Ever wondered why Christ chose his apostles practically randomly? He, for example, would just pass by Matthew in his tax collector’s table and say, “Come, follow me,” without as much checking on Matthew’s background.

Same with brothers Peter and Andrew, and James and John.

Christ would just call them, and without asking any question they simply left their nets, for they were fishermen, and followed Christ.

In the end, he would also call Judas Iscariot who would later betray him. Christ, being God, would have known that Judas would turn him in. But that did not deter him. He called Judas to be one of his 12 apostles just the same.

The only reason I can find for this behavior of Christ is that he has the right to call anyone and everyone to follow him. And that’s simply because, as God, he has that right since all of us come

from him and belong to him. As redeemer, he calls everyone to follow him.

This, I believe, is a truth of faith that we have to understand very well. Sanctity is not so much a matter of acquiring specific skills, positions and status, as of giving one’s whole self to God.

This does not mean that we should be indifferent and negligent about this business of acquiring skills, positions and status. These are very important and indispensable, but as living parts of the whole body that sanctity is.

Remember that passage in the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians when he talked about the body and its different parts?

It’s in Chapter 12 and might be worthwhile going though it again.

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ,” he said. He continued: “For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body.

“If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell be?”

To be holy is actually a matter of becoming a living, functioning part of the body of Christ. That would mean that we become identified with Christ, infused with his spirit of love and conformed to his will and ways.

To be holy is to be with Christ, although in different  ways, just like the different parts that form and serve one body. And we should not worry if, continuing the same imagery of the body and its parts, we happen to be that part that we consider of least honor.

St. Paul has this to say about that: “The parts of the  body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those parts which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require.” (22-24)

The important thing to remember is that each part of the body, however it is considered in our human standards, has to serve the whole body. In other words, whatever our condition, position or status in life, we should always aim at sanctity, the end-all and be-all of our life.

We should refrain from getting entangled with petty comparisons with others, generating unnecessary envies, jealousies, conflicts, etc. We should learn to be contented with what we have as long as we use them for the attainment of our ultimate goal of holiness.

But we obviously have to attend to opportunities to a better condition, position or status when they prove to be coming from God’s will, and not just from our own desires that can be driven by pride, vanity, greed, and the like.