Holiness: Listening to God’s Word and Living It
Last 2019, the Strenna given to the Salesian Family was: “Holiness for you too!” We were reminded by the Rector Major, the successor of St. John Bosco, that God calls everyone to holiness. Becoming a saint is the first and most urgent task for a Christian. St. John Bosco wanted all of us, especially the young to be happy in time and in eternity. Today we celebrate the memorial of Blessed Joseph Calasanz and Henry Saiz Aparicio and companions. These are members of the Salesian Family who faced religious persecution when the civil war broke out in Spain in 1936. Around 95 of them became martyrs: Salesian priests and brothers, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Cooperators and Salesian Aspirants. All of them gave their lives for their faith in Christ between July 1936 and April 1938. Frs. Calasanz and Aparicio offered their lives in exchange for the young people who had been entrusted to them by Divine Providence. They died giving an example of fidelity to their Christian faith and their Salesian vocation, trusting in God and forgiving their persecutors.
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of those who listen to and put GOD’s Word into action as being part of His family. Jesus promises a share in the family of GOD to those who open themselves to hearing GOD’s Word and then acting upon what they hear. This is what we acclaim when we end the meditation time, “Blessed are they who listen to God’s Word and live by it day after day.” A spiritual writer once said, “The devil doesn’t care if you go to church or read the bible, as long as you don’t apply it to your life.”
Brothers and sisters, holiness is for all of us. The example of our Salesian martyrs of Spain is a witness of the Word of God being listened to and lived even to the point of offering their lives for Christ. It is also good to ask ourselves, how is my following of Christ? Do I listen to His Word and have truly lived it in my life?
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