Deacon Steve Greco: Chosen to be HolyMay 17, 2022
My brothers and sisters, you are called to have a radical new life of wonder and joy. You are called to be holy.
We see this call to a joyful life in the Old Testament:
Leviticus 20:26 “Therefore, you shall be holy; for I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from other peoples to be my own.”
Leviticus 11:44 “You shall make and keep ourselves holy because I am holy.”
In 1 Peter 1:16, we are reminded to be holy because the Lord is holy.
When I ask people if they are holy, almost 100% of them say they are not, and most will even say they don’t know anyone who is holy.
The reality? We are holy because we are called to be holy and because of what Jesus has done for us by His death on the Cross and His resurrection. He has wiped clean our sins and made us “whiter than snow.” We must just say “Yes” to being holy.
We have been chosen to be holy.
Ephesians 1:4 “As he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him.”
How do you become holy? There is a seven-step process that leads us to holiness.
The first step is to desire holiness. We are called to be holy. We are called to be saints. Mother Teresa told us we must desire to be holy and expect that we will become holy. What is more important to you than becoming holy? Nothing!
The second step is to surrender our life to Jesus. We can’t get there if we have one foot in the world and one foot with Jesus. If we are lukewarm, Jesus will “spit” us out of His mouth as seen in Revelation 3. When we seek God with all our hearts, hunger and thirst for Him, we will receive the grace for holiness.
The third step is to repent of our weakness and sins on an ongoing basis. Have we forgiven ourselves for our sins? Have we forgiven others for the hurt they have caused us? Let’s get in the habit of examining our conscience at the end of each day and go to frequent Reconciliation.
The fourth step is to ask for faith, faith that moves mountains and leads us to deeper holiness. Through faith we experience miracles. Faith, through the love of Jesus, heals us.
We have learned in this book that to receive more faith, we must ask for it. We must expect to “move mountains.” Of what are you afraid? It’s okay that you don’t “feel” faithful; ask and you will receive in abundance!
The fifth step is to learn how to pray fervently. Most of us pray by asking God for things. It is critical we learn how to pray from our hearts, beginning with praising God for who He is. Prayer and praise lead us to be thankful for what God has done for us. It often involves praying in the Spirit.
To what extent do we go to Eucharistic adoration? It is amazing what a difference it can make in our lives. I am on the evangelization committee in my diocese, and at one meeting the connection between fervent attending of adoration and vocations was pointed out.
When we are one with God, “abide in me and I will abide in you”; we have the power, love and grace of our Father in heaven. We are connected with God through prayer, praise and the sacraments; we are doing His will. When we do the will of God, we live in holiness.
This also leads us to the Blessed Mother and the rosary. Praying through Mary is the best way to become a saint. She guides us to the will of her Son Jesus.
The sixth step toward holiness is to love fervently. Ask God to teach you how to love. It is the most important act you can perform. It starts with God teaching you how to open your heart to receive the love He has for you.
To love in holiness and with the love of the Father, we must learn how to forgive—a huge stumbling block for many. We try to come up with excuse after excuse about why we can’t forgive.
My brothers and sisters, we have no choice if we want to be holy. Lack of forgiveness will prevent our “being set apart” or holy. Is holding on to anger, hurts and ill feelings worth it? The answer is no, especially considering what God has told us: we will be forgiven in the same measure we forgive others. When we judge, we place that same judgment on ourselves.
Learn to love unconditionally by asking for this grace, repenting when you are not loving, and asking for the grace to be able to love with the love of Jesus. Do not be prideful in your ability to love, since all love is of God and comes from God.
Finally, to be holy means you are living a sacramental life. It requires leading a life in which you hunger and thirst for the Mass and Eucharist. To what extent is your day based upon receiving the Eucharist or routinely going to Reconciliation?
When God has called us to be holy, He has called us to Himself. He wants to give us every spiritual gift and blessing in the heavens.
The purpose of this book is to teach us that God is close to us at all times and especially when we face adversity and trials. No matter what we are going through, God’s love, grace and forgiveness is greater. You were created to be an instrument of God’s love, joy and peace.
May God our Father bless each of you and your loved ones with His abundant love, through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, the power of the Holy Spirit, in the Name of Jesus. Amen!
All praise, glory and honor be His now and forever. Amen.
This column is excerpted from Deacon Steve Greco’s 2018 book “Overcoming Adversity through Miracles.” Click here to purchase a copy: Amazon.com : deacon steve greco.
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