Examples of Peace and Holiness…
Today, we are challenged by the author of Hebrews to be examples of peace and holiness:
Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. -Hebrews 12:14, NAB
This sentence, in my mind, actually points to the two greatest commandments. When asked what the greatest commandments are, Jesus replied:
“The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” -Mark 12:29-31, NAB
First, the author tells us to have peace with everyone, which obviously requires that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Second, we are told to strive for holiness, which shows the depth of our love for God.
Being examples of peace and holiness is not only good for our own souls, but it also helps to evangelize the world around us. Truly, we can tell the world about Christ and His message, but in this way, we are living it. The world can see Christ through His impact on our lives.
Of course, this is not always easy. It can be difficult, sometimes, to be peaceful with a world that embraces anger and hate. It can be difficult to be an example of holiness when the world largely ignores our goodness and quickly points out our smallest mistakes. Still, we try.
Follow these two commandments: love your God, and love your neighbor as yourself. As an example of peace and holiness, you will be drawing those around you one step closer to God.