Holy and Righteous… ( Canticle of Zachariah 4/6 )

“This was the oath that He swore to our father Abraham:  To set us free from our enemies, free to worship Him, Holy and Righteous  in his sight all the days of our lives “.


The oath of Abraham ( then Abram ) began in Genesis 17.  Here God promises Abraham to give him a multitude of descendants even though both he and Sarah were both older.  THen in Genesis Ch 22, came the sacrifice where Abraham is tested with the sacrifice of his son Issac.   God again affirms his promise and add to that the promise that Abrahams’ descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies   THen in Ezekiel II God promises to take out their stony hearts and give them hears made of flesh, and give them a new spirit and they shall keep His laws.


In an earlier reflection we spent time reflecting on freedom, so we will not review that subject here.  Instead we ill look at the two other subjects contained in this section, Holiness, and Righteousness.

We know that everyone is called to holiness.  Jesus said to ” Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” ( Matthew 5:8).  The Church teaches that we should devote ourselves to the work of perfection with all of our strength, devoting ourselves  to the Glory of God , and service to our neighbors, and holiness will be the fruit grown of this labor. ( CCC 2014).


OK, Bit hold on a moment.  Isn’t God alone holy ? If that is so, then how it it possible for us to be holy too ?  We find the answer to this question in Lumen Gentium Ch. 5 – God loves the Church as His bride, gave Himself up for her, so as to sanctify her.  The Church joined to Christ as the Body of Christ, endowed he with the gift of the Spirit for the glory of God.  God took the Church as his Bride, sanctified her and made her holy.. but why ?  Because God wants us to be holy and glorified.  In Romans 8:27 – The often quoted line ” All things work for good for those who love the Lord”  There is however, more.  Those who were called, were justified, and with the justified he shares His glory.


Ask yourself , if God loves us ( and he does), and he wants us to be justified and holy ( and He does), Why ?  God does not NEED us to be holy.  He could just require  is to obey and nothing else.  We could have been slaves !  God however loves us, and wants more for us.  For the same reason we have free will, for our own benefit, and so that we can grow in love and closer to Him.

The Church teaches a valuable lesson.  Holiness involves WORK !  Working and striving towards spiritual perfection , but also includes service to our neighbor.  So it’s not enough for us to spend the day praying if it is not accompanied with service to our fellow man.  This is why we have the Corporal Works of Mercy.

  • Feed the hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Clothe the naked
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Visit the sick
  • Visit the imprisoned
  • Bury the dead

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One Response to “Holy and Righteous… ( Canticle of Zachariah 4/6 )”

  1. SaintlySages Says:

    Excellent reflection. Another thing I consider is the meaning of “perfect” in Mt 5:48. This word is often construed to imply moral excellence. But, I think this is incorrect, for God alone is morally perfect, ie. without sin. The original Greek of v.48 reads “teleios,” which means “completion of a process.” Accordingly, St Jerome translated “teleios” into the Latin “perfecti” in his Vulgate. The verb “perfecere” means “to complete, finish, bring about, accomplish.” Thus, when Christ asks us to be “perfect” like God the Father, it seems to me He is asking us to be inclusive like the Father, to accept all God’s children as our brethren. One can hear Christ building up to this conclusion in the verses preceding v.48. Moreover, it is one of the points He makes in the story of the Good Samaritan, which answers the question “Who is my neighbor?” Have a great weekend. God bless!

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