I only knew what Set apart meant as I grew in the community. When I became a servant and started embracing commitments in the community, we were taught that being set apart means to be Holy, or the other way around – to be Holy is to be Set Apart. I remembered one SHOUT (Summer House Training) where one of our speakers challenged us to follow the way of the cross; and following the way of the cross compels us to live a holy life. I asked myself, “Why? Why do I have to be holy?” I knew that holiness is perfection, but I also knew that no one can ever be perfect. In this book, I was reminded again by this cliché line from God – from the bible: “Be Holy because I am holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).”
It is not a command to be holy, but it is our nature, our destination. Since we are designed by God and for God, thus we are called to be like Him. Our sins, failures, and shortcomings can tell us otherwise, but the truth will still remain — that holiness is our goal. We strive to live a holy life every single day of our lives.
Then I begin to wonder, if I live a holy life every single day, then I’ll be living my life differently from other people. I am going to be changing the way I speak, think, act, and decide because I will be doing things out of God’s will for me. This is going to be challenging because the world today is confused as to what is right and wrong. Our world today is covered in darkness that even us Christians and believers are being blinded from the truth.
I realized that If people are confused and they don’t know what to do and what to believe in, what they need is something firm, steady, something authentic. Therefore, a confused world full of darkness and confusion is in need of a steady and authentic faith. A faith that chooses to be humble amidst pride. A faith that chooses humility over power and greed. A faith that chooses endurance over challenges, adversities, and difficulties. A faith that chooses to love amidst hurt, lie, and pain. This is the faith that we need. Authentic. Real. Not for the world, but in the world. Set apart. Holy.
We need to be firm and let the whole world know that choosing the cross of Christ and embracing it is our way to holiness. We need to let everyone know that humility, self-denial, and dying to oneself can be our way to express our love for others. We need to be direct to tell the world that forgiveness is still a real thing. We need to emphasize that acceptance is necessary, but what’s more important is the conversion of the hearts of the faithful and turn them back to Christ. We need to remind and affirm one another that being a missionary is not a privilege for some but a calling for everyone.
A nun told me before that “Holiness attracts.” Why? Because it separates you from the others. It sets you apart from the rest. It reflects Christ through you.
May we continue to live a life of holiness every single day of our lives. All for the Lord.
DR Arellano is a Full Time Pastoral Worker of Missionary Families of Christ. He is currently the Section Coordinator of MFC Youth.