First Reading: 1 Peter 1:10-16
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 98
Gospel: Mark 10:28-31
Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, Be holy because I am holy. (1 Pet 1:13-16)
How many times have we all been in the situation where someone has told an offensive, inappropriate joke that had everyone laughing, except you. Instead of saying something, we kind of just fake a smile and chuckle a little, so that we can go along with the group. How many times have we been walking or driving along and seen a homeless person on the street, and instead of stopping to help, we pass by just like everyone else. How many of us have been in the situation at work or school where people are gossiping about someone else, and instead of standing up for that person, we just go along nodding our head with the group. The truth is that in life, it is simply easier to go with the flow and do what everyone else is doing. Nobody really likes to be an outcast, and it is hard to be put in an uncomfortable place against everyone else.
As we see in the readings today, we are not called to be like everyone else, we are meant for more. We are called to be Holy. Our main purpose in life should not be to be like everyone else, our main purpose should be to be Holy and get to heaven. And while right now in life, it may be easier to go with the flow, it is not what will pay out at the end. Going with the flow and being like everyone else in the world only leads to an eternal life of suffering. Being Holy and following Christ leads to an eternal life in paradise with our Creator.
Not only does striving for Holiness reap eternal rewards, but it also has some immediate benefits as well. In fact living out God's plan for our lives and striving to do His will and what is right is what leads to peace and happiness. The reason we have peace and happiness from doing the Lord's will is because we are living out our life as it was meant to be lived. We were not created to serve ourselves, we were created to love God and others, and to be loved by God. If our main goal is to only be comfortable and look out for ourselves, as most people do; then we will not find the peace and happiness that we all seek. And this is not the type of lifestyle that leads us to heaven.
We each have a choice in this life: we can strive to follow the world, or we can strive to be Holy. They each lead to very different places ... which will you choose?
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you for all that you have blessed us with in this life. Lord, thank you for your great love and mercy, for without it we are lost. Lord, help us to follow you in this life and to never stray away from where you lead us to. Lord, you are so good and merciful to us, help us to show this same love and mercy to others. Lord, we pray for all of our priests and religious, that they may be strengthened in their ministries and in their vows. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.