Consider this: We should not think that holiness is only meant for a select few. We are all called to be holy, but how many of us recognize and answer that call? As we enter the season of Lent, let us ponder that tug in our heart, that urging in our soul, that tweak in our conscience; perhaps that is Christ calling us by way of the Holy Spirit to follow Him.
To follow Christ is to keep His commandments. “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love,” said Jesus [John 15:10]. The closer we are to Christ in our hearts and souls, the more able we are to recognize His call to holiness. That is why our Blessed Mother wants us to be united with her Son—to be brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.
Truly, Christ, the Son of God, came into this world through Mary to show us the way to holiness. “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect,” said Jesus [Matthew 5:48]. That call may seem intimidating to us imperfect mortals. However, Lent—a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving—is the perfect time to clear away distractions, repent our sins, and cast temptations out of our lives so that the way to holiness is clear.
Reflection and prayer help us to conform our lives to unite with Christ for the purpose of our redemption and salvation. Fasting and the sacrifices we make help us to draw closer to Our Lord as we learn to rid ourselves of obstacles that separate us from the love of God. And as we are emptied of sin and temptation, we are filled with graces and blessings in order to share Our Lord’s loving mercy through our daily living. In other words, we are filled with graces and blessings that make us holy.
So long as we remain faithful during Lent and beyond, we can attain holiness on earth. Should we have difficulty, Christ gives us Mary, Mother of all People, to help us—through her own faithfulness. Mary pondered many things in her heart and her life was one of faith-filled prayer, hope, and charity because Mary was—and is—centered in God’s love.
By her intercession, Our Lady shares the love of God, made manifest in Jesus Christ, for the sake of our healing so that we too can be holy. Mary’s intercession helps us to recognize and answer Christ’s call affirmatively to participate in Our Lord’s redemptive work by following the promptings of the Holy Spirit to keep His commandments, without hesitation.
Like Mary, we may not always understand the events that occur in our lives. However, like Mary, by allowing ourselves to be sanctified, we will always be able to see God’s love—we will always be able to see Christ—in our lives no matter what happens. Therefore, let our hearts not be troubled. United in Christ, we can achieve our holy purpose with faith-filled prayer, hope, and charity just as Jesus calls us to do. Amen.