Very. Rev.Fr.Joychen Paranjattu
(Vicar General of Rajkot Diocese)
Mt 5 Concerning Holiness of Life
Why should human beings be holy? Is not God alone Holy? Yes, it is because the Lord is Holy that we are called to be holy. We are created in His image and likeness. Whenever we fail, we trust in God’s merciful love to purify us, because He alone can make us holy. He is all Holy. Genesis Chapters 18 and 19 explain why Sodom was destroyed by the Lord. God had pronounced judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah seeing the wickedness of the people of these two cities. There was no righteous man left in the city except the family of Lot; and God destroys the two cities. He sent sulfur and fire from heaven and overthrew the cities. Lot had welcomed the two angels into their house to spend the night inside the house. He made a feast for them and honored them. However, the men of the city came at night and wanted to live in sin with the two men of God who were guests at the house of Lot. Lot did not give them into the hands of the men of the city.Their wickedness was punished by the Lord. The angels struck with blindness the men who were at the door and asks Lot and his family to escape from the city before the Lord destroy it.
David who had committed sin with the wife of Uriah too was punished for his wrongdoing. “The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became very ill” (2Sam 12:15b). Nathan reminds David of his sin, and the latter repents for it. Paul when he writes to Timothy says that it is the duty of the Lord’s servantto teach, be patient and to correct opponents with gentleness. Through this gesture of correction, the other may repent by God’s grace and come to know the truth,and escape from the snares of the devil (2Tim 2:24-25). He wants everyone to shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart (2Tim 2:22).Each one’s friendship must be with those who call on to the Lord and are pure in heart. When we fail in our relationships,we begin stupid and senseless controversies which lead to quarrels. To free another person from the captivity of the devil, one needs to be holy and pure in heart.
How to purify one’s heart? To purify one’s heart, one needs to purify one’s thoughts. To purify one’s thoughts, one must purify one’s senses. Jesus invites us all to purify our senses. It is through this purity of senses, that relationships can become more pure and holy. Therefore, Jesus teaches us to overcome sin and to remove every occasion that leads a person to sin. He says, one must pay careful attention not to lose one’s control over one’s look/eyes. If sin enters through one’s senses, the heart becomes impure. If heart is impure, then the whole body too will be impure. Jesus wants us to be wholly pure to be worthy to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Fidelity in marital relationship is another priority that Jesus stresses in his teachings. Moses’ teachings were to lead people to live in harmony. His teachings were not inviting people to divorce anyone whom they did not like. Jesus stresses the covenantal nature of marriage, its unity and indissolubility. God created them male and female to remain faithful to each other and to remain as God wanted them to be at the time of creation. Man does not understand God’s designs for him, and he fails when he is deceived by the world and its evil designs. To know God’s designs for man, he must know Jesus and his teachings who reveals to us God’s ways and is God himself. To be away from the world and its ways, one must be transformed by the word of God and be renewed in mind to discern God’s will for everyone “what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2). The season of Great fast is the time for us to purify our inner being by purifying our external senses; and thus, prepare ourselves for the celebration of the Paschal Mysteries. May the Spirit of God dwell within us to guide our whole being. Amen!