“Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.”
-Saint Francis of Assisi
I always remember this line from St. Francis of Assisi every time I heard the word holiness. But when I read the book “Set Apart” written by Tito Frank Padilla, my understanding of holiness became more personal to me – that Holiness equals Pureness, being pure in thoughts, words and deeds.
God’s nature is Holy, which means He is great and His actions are holy; this means He is good. Holiness is what makes Him great and good. And we too are called to be Holy! This means we are different from other people. We are not better; we are saved by His Grace, and set apart for His service and glory. We are to do our best to understand and learn about Jesus so we can be more like Him in our character and behaviors. This does not mean we share in His divine nature, for He is still the One and only God and we are still human, but now we have a place in eternity and fellowship in Him.
Our Holiness is to reflect our gratitude and love for what He has given us, for His rescue of our soul. This is a response to His great gift of atonement and salvation. Because He saved us, we should live a life pleasing to Him. This does not mean we are perfect, but we can strive our best to be our best for His glory!
Our response is to pursue Holiness to the best of our ability, to be communicable in our faith, as in infectious. We can do this by growing in character and living righteously by Christ’s example. Our concern and pursuit is to learn and grow in Him in maturity and faith through obedience and the practice of the Christian walk.
Holiness does not mean we set ourselves apart from others whom we do not like, or whom we consider sinful, because we are all sinful. Remember, Jesus Himself had direct contact with the sinners of life, and called the worst sinners, like Paul, to spread His Gospel. Yet, we are not to yield to or undertake their sins and temptations.
We may not be able to be perfect as He is perfect, but we can strive our best in receiving His Spirit and Word, and applying it in all aspects of our lives.
Karlo Marbida is a Full Time Pastoral Worker of Missionary Families of Christ. He is currently Zone Youth Coordinator of the Luzon Provinces