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Monday, June 6, 2005

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St. Norbert

2 Corinthians 1:1-7
Psalm 34
Matthew 5:1-12

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holiness: an acquired taste

"Blest are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall have their fill." —Matthew 5:6

As descendants of Adam and Eve, we human beings inherited a fallen nature, incapable of attaining the holiness of God. Thousands of years of human history have proven that sin begets an escalating series of injustices, perversions, wars, and other catastrophes of the wages of sin, that is, death (Rm 6:23).

By being baptized into Jesus, we are united with Jesus and set free from slavery to sin (Rm 6:5-6). We become sanctified children of God (Rm 6:3-4, 22). Through baptism into the life of God, we even become "sharers of the divine nature" (2 Pt 1:4) and "share His holiness" (Heb 12:10). Because of our baptism, the life of God flows through our veins. In Jesus, we are capable of that holiness, without which we cannot see God (Heb 12:14).

Why then do many baptized Christians continue to live in sin? It's not because baptism is ineffective. The old sinful nature was drowned forever in the waters of baptism. So "how can [those] who died to sin go on living in it?" (Rm 6:1) The answer is that baptized Christians who live in sin prefer the lifestyle of sin to the life of holiness. For them, sin is more attractive than Jesus.

Meditate on this Scripture: "Wherever your treasure lies, there your heart will be" (Lk 12:34). If your treasure is Jesus and "His way of holiness" (Mt 6:33), your heart will hunger for and receive holiness (Mt 5:6). If your treasure is the old attraction of sin, you won't desire holiness enough to live a holy life. Make an examination of your desires. Let Jesus cleanse the temple of your mind (Jn 2:15ff). Give up all to make holiness your treasure (Mt 13:44).

Prayer:  Jesus, You thirst for me to be holy (Jn 19:28). May I hunger for holiness and thereby satisfy Your thirst.

Promise:  "Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame." —Ps 34:6

Praise:  St. Norbert's preaching "purged vices, refined virtues, and filled souls of good will with the warmth of wisdom."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004

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