Summoned By God’s Holiness

Week of March 20, 2016

We enter a week in which God invites us to participate in the Paschal Mystery, that is to say the dying and rising of Jesus, the Son of God.  It is an invitation that we are not to take lightly.  He is offering us a change to be in His Real Presence, to recall the great events of faith and to be embraced by a love that is eternal.  Who could ever say “no” to that kind of invitation?

No matter how we walked through Lent, the invitation is the same.  No matter how deeply we entered the desert, God invites.  No matter how much we avoided Lent and its practices, God invites.  No matter how unworthy we feel, God invites.  No matter how prideful we have become, God invites.  No matter how often we come to church to pray, God invites.

The holiness of God sees our potential.  The holiness of God sees what we can become.  The holiness of God sees our brokenness.  The holiness of God knows we need a Savior.  The holiness of God longs to show mercy.  The holiness of God longs to share redemptive love with us.

In this week on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m., we are summoned to the Table of the Eucharist.  We are invited to hear not only the story of the Lord’s Supper, but to experience its invitation to holiness.  Its invitation comes as Jesus asks them to follow His example.  Holiness comes from washing the feet of others, being present to the filth and grime of life.  It is an acknowledgement of the miles of the journey of our lives.  God does not turn away from all we are or have done, but washes us clean.  It is the beginning of a new invitation and a new life.

In this week on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., we are summoned by the cross.  We are invited to allow a wooden cross to be for us a symbol of forgiveness.  We are to listen once again to the Passion and Death of Jesus.  We are invited to enter into our own sin and allow the divine Savior, who was like us in all things but sin, to save us.  The death of Jesus is an invitation to die to ourselves and trust deeply that the divine blood poured out by Him has paid the price for our sin. God did not allow the power of sin to overcome His love.  He sees us as worth the sacrifice of His Son.

In this week on Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m., we are summoned by a fire that is given to be shared.  The unthinkable has happened; Jesus crucified is no longer dead, but alive.  He is no longer in the tomb.  The tomb could no longer hold His divine body.  We are summoned by this event to learn we too are given the promise of eternal life.  What was done by this one man, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior, has won for us a place in eternity.

All of this is within what God has asked us to do and to participate in this week.  Many distractions and things can keep us from these sacred liturgies, but one thing remains, the invitation.  This invitation is for everyone.  This invitation is for us personally.

When the holiness of God speaks, we are called to listen,

Rev. John J. Ouper