Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Prove My Holiness

By Beth DeCristofaro
Thus says the LORD: I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations, in whose midst you have profaned it. Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, when in their sight I prove my holiness through you. (Ezekiel 36: 22-23)
“The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast … But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.  He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen.”  (Matthew 22: 2, 11-14)
A clean heart create for me, God;
renew within me a steadfast spirit.
Do not drive me from before your face,
nor take from me your holy spirit.
Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;
uphold me with a willing spirit.
I will teach the wicked your ways,
that sinners may return to you. (Psalm 51:12-15
YouTube® videos display people, perhaps even a bride and groom, misbehaving and acting inappropriately at weddings.  Cringe-worthy photos, dirty-dance contests, and excessive drinking disrespect the sacredness of the event.  A friend of mine admitted with amusement and a touch of pride that his mother smacked an aunt in her face during the wedding feast of a cousin.
Thomas Merton speaks of God’s presence being manifest in all beings who are true to their nature: “But this sadness generates within me an unspeakable reverence for the holiness of created things, for they are pure and perfect and they belong to God and they are mirrors of His beauty.  He is mirrored in all things like sunlight in clean water: but if I try to drink the light that is in the water I only shatter the reflection.”[i]
God is proved to the world through the fickle, idol-worshiping Chosen People.  God is proved to the world through me.  Did the wedding guest refuse to mirror God even when he was given garments to wear?  Jesus, through his cross and resurrection, gave us garments of charity, faith, love, and virtues which flow from the Spirit indwelling?
Wisdom,  Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Fortitude, Fear of the Lord, Piety  Refresh by reading up.   
Practice one today – perhaps by intentionally doing Spiritual or Corporal Works of Mercy.  Manifest God.  Prove to the world which hurts so deeply the holiness of God.

[i] “A Year with Thomas Merton:  Daily Readings from His Journals”, T. Merton and Jonathan Montaldo, Harper one, 2004, p. 259.

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