October 16 - Friday
Vernon Manlapaz, SFC SoCal West Unit Head
1 Peter 1:16
“Be holy because I am holy.”
We define ourselves with many adjectives, but we may not define ourselves as holy. Our weakness and doubts prevent us from striving to be holy. As Christians, we are all called to be holy. So we must acknowledge, be open and take actions in order to receive God’s grace. To be holy is to be “set apart for a special purpose,” and we are gifted with examples to model holiness from. We are given the perfect example in Jesus where He modeled a holy life from birth to death undeterred by the trials of human life. We are also given examples in the Saints’ examples of letting God’s light shine through their human imperfection. Everyone can be a saint with a small ‘s.’ By choosing the next right thing, and surrendering to our weaknesses and trust in God and His plan for us in our daily living journey of life. In this journey, we work towards our best selves with God’s guidance to realize our unique and special purpose to be holy, and to be Fully Alive.
October 17 - Saturday
Evony Evangelista, FTPW Canada East
2 Corinthians 4:4
“In whose case the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Satan has corrupted our minds into thinking that we should not aspire for holiness because of its difficulty. By believing the pursuit of holiness to be a very dull and burdensome way of life, and by being reminded that we are sinners and, therefore, are not capable of striving for holiness, we have been led to believe that a holy life is not doable here on Earth.
Having a vague and distorted understanding of holiness has led us to live lives that contradict it through relativism, secularism, and individualism
Holiness is not easy to attain. But it’s possible if we are willing to fight and get up every time we fall. By immersing ourselves in the presence of Christ, we can remember to call upon His strength, so as to be drawn closer to holiness.
Jeff Miraflor, Jesuit Seminarian, former SFC FL
1 Peter 1:13-14
“Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Be obedient to God, and do not allow your lives to be shaped by those desires you had when you were still ignorant. “
Holiness is not an extraordinary act. It’s in the ordinary that we can be holy, in our daily routine, our normal work, in our respective duties and responsibilities. One cannot stand to be idle and content with doing no harm but will try to do more good every day.
Jesus makes holiness quite simple to understand. If the purity of God is inside you,
it will also be visible in your actions. If the love of God is in your heart, your words and actions will be loving and kind. Holiness is holistic. Living a life of holiness makes us whole, complete, and healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually, so that we will be more like Jesus.
We invite Jesus daily into our hearts, not only because he will give us life in abundance, but because it is only then we can consistently send the leading of the Holy Spirit to live a life of Holiness. It is difficult to answer the call to Holiness without the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
October 18 - Sunday
Kuya Randy Muyargas, SFC Socal-OC CC, former SFC
The call to holiness ought to lead us to answer God’s call to be holy as He is holy. No one can fulfill the call to holiness alone and without the Church. Our witnessing is always as members of the Christian community, and in communion with the Church. This witness must take place not just in the vocation God blesses us with, but within every moment of our lives. At work, at school, among family, within our relationships and even out in our communities. If we respond to God’s will in our every action, He will use that to make us holy. It is in our unity and love for each other that other people recognize us as disciples of Jesus. Jesus is and will always be the source of our strength, hope, and love. The more we imitate Christ, the more we look like Him. We witness Jesus being blessed, broken, and shared weekly, so we too must be prepared to be blessed, broken, and shared for our brothers and sisters. As followers of Jesus, we need to let the light shine in the dark areas of our lives and bring this light to our family and our society.
“Be who you were made to be, and you will set the world on fire.”
- St. Catherine of Siena