Advent 4 - Year A
How would you measure your spirit of holiness? For Paul it apparently is only recognized in resurrection. Going off to prayer, standing up to temptations, affirming one’s belovedness, accessing an appropriate parable for the moment, healings, feedings, etc., etc., wouldn’t be holy in and of themselves - only in the light of resurrection.
So, will only passing a pearly gate give credence to your otherwise mundane holiness? That seems a bit iffy for ever being able to confirm your holiness.
Perhaps your holiness will be acknowledged if you insist that those who are not of your particular faith are constrained to become just like you? If you can get a modern-day Gentile to obey your faith, you must be holy?
What say we take a step back and not do so much claiming of authority. It may be that holiness is not measurable or a commodity which one can have more of than another and thus lord it over them. In a Gumpish sort of way, holiness is what holiness does.
So at this last minute of Advent, don’t just stand there - do something. Practice, as they say, will bring its own reward. Oh, wait, I mean perfection. Isn’t that what is meant by holy - not fleshy, just spiritual.
It sounds like Paul maybe meant to start his letter, “I, Paul, friend of Jesus, write to you who need to be servants of Jesus.” While it doesn’t sound as nice as his second draft, authorized authorities can and do take some liberties with liberty.
Are you holy enough yet to belong to a Holy Club? Well, keep trying, you’ll be on the guest list one of these days.