“Whoever does the will of God remains forever in Him.” – 1 Jn 2:17
It is so easy for me to make excuses for not praying enough, or not being “holy” enough. Priests and nuns have more time for prayer, single people have fewer distractions, older people are more settled in life and have fewer worries. There are a million reasons why holiness can wait for tomorrow, or prayer can be sacrificed for another good.
The first reading today explicitly calls children, young adults, and older people to holiness: salvation is for everyone who strives to do the will of God, no matter our circumstances, intelligence, or age. Salvation is not offered as a reward or prize for the ones who work the hardest, but as an ongoing, deepening relationship. Many of us set resolutions for the new year, or some kind of goals to better ourselves or families. What if my “resolution” this year is simply to strive for what leads me into better relationship with those around me?
In the Gospel today Jesus is seen as the Messiah by Simeon and Anna, but then returns to live a simple childhood in Nazareth with his parents. Even though Jesus was flawless at birth, he still grew into this holiness by following the will of the Father day by day leading up to his public ministry and death.
Am I being invited to live in the present moment (with God) each day? Is there some small act or offering I can make each morning that might help remind me of this resolution?