Day 4 - Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth
Day 4 Novena Reflection
In Matthews Gospel, we read these challenging words of Jesus:
Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust."
"For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (St. Matthew 5: 43-48)
How can we be 'Perfect?" What does it mean? What does holiness mean? Can we all become holy?
The admonition from Jesus is clear and undeniable. It is repeated in other Gospel accounts and developed in several New Testament Epistles.
Our problem with understanding and responding to the passage is twofold; we misunderstand the meaning of the word and we have a limited our comprehension of the goal of the fullness of salvation in Jesus Christ.
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The Greek word often translated in the New Testament as perfect is telios. Telios refers to something being completed, brought to its full purpose, potential and intended end and vocation.
For example, in the world of objects, a hammer is telios or perfect when it is hammering a nail. In the world of subjects, things are telios or perfect when they are fulfilling their nature.
The One through whom we were first created, is re-creating us now through His grace - as cooperate and choose to live our lives now in Him. Yet, we do not yet perceive who we are to become.
The beloved disciple John explained in his first letter, "Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. " (1 John 3:2)
We are called even now to become like Him. We are called to be "perfected" or completed in Jesus Christ.
We are called to holiness, to sanctity,
We are called to become saints.
All Saints of God, Pray for us
Novena Prayer to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth
Beloved Father, through the life, death and resurrection of your only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, we have become your adopted sons and daughters.
Through Baptism we are now members of His Body, the Church, which is Your family.
Our Savior Jesus taught us that whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother. We thank you that promise includes each one of us.
As members of the family of Jesus we are now reunited to you, in Him. Through Baptism we have become adopted sons and daughters in your Beloved Son.
We now turn to you in prayer, through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit as OUR FATHER, ABBA.
We pray that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, you would raise up in our midst holy men, women and children, in every Nation, culture and walk of life.
Men, women and children who are so conformed to your Son Jesus that they make Him known by their words, deeds and life of love and sacrificial service.
Men, women and children who are saints for this urgent hour.
Men, Women and children who manifest the power of heaven on earth. Who continue the ministry of Jesus, your Son and our Savior, through signs of the kingdom to come.
May these holy men and women multiply - providing leaders and servants for a New Missionary Age of the Church.
And, we pray for ourselves and our families, that we could grow closer and closer to you, every day, that we would be transformed by your grace and our free cooperation with your grace - Empowered by your Holy Spirit to become new creations in Jesus Christ.
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