July 27, 2011 - Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Readings

As devoted as some people are to getting the perfect suntan, we Christians should be to getting the radiant glow that only comes from time spent with the Lord in prayer. Moses is a great example for us. He spent time talking with the Lord, and it changed him. Whenever he spent time speaking with the Lord, his skin became radiant. How wonderful it would be if we too could become radiant by spending time with the Lord. Not that our faces would glow with an earthly light, but that our souls would glow with a heavenly light.

That heavenly light is holiness. As we repeated in the psalm today, “Holy is the Lord our God.” Holiness means to be different, to be separate, to be set aside, to be the personal possession of God. Above all holiness applies to God himself. He is different from everything else. We can say that he is not bad, but when we say that he is good we have to remember that he is better than good, “good” and every other word in human language is inadequate for describing God.

Holiness applies by analogy to those people who belong to God. We are Holy. We belong to God because he made us. We belong to God because we were baptized. We belong to God as we give ourselves daily to him. It is possible to glow with holiness, a light shining in a dark world, but only if we newly dedicate ourselves each day to God.

Holiness is not that pretense of holiness that can be easily seen through. Holiness is not something which we do or that we generate from within. Holiness is the fire of God’s love. We can only acquire this healthy glow by spending time in a different kind of sunshine: the rays coming forth from the tabernacle in the heart of the church.

Moses covered his face with a veil, for the radiance was more than the Israelites could stand. Today we see God with unveiled faces. It would be foolish to leave this meeting, to go away from the source of our life, unless the holiness that we encountered here in the church, here in the Mass, shone forth in our souls. When one Saint lights up the world around them for a while, they are remembered for centuries Imagine if all Christians shone with holiness! The world would soon be converted. And why not? Holiness is available to all of us by God’s grace.