7A20. Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18. The Lord commands Moses to tell the whole Israelite community: “Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.” Clearly God is telling his people to be as he is, holy and pure; not living as just another animal of this world but as a people close and dear to God, as his own. In Genesis 1:26, “Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our own likeness. Let them have dominion over” all the animals of this earth. We are to live in his image and not in the image of the other creatures of this earth. God in his holiness bears no hatred, grudge, nor revenge. We must do as God does, because we have been made in his image and likeness.
Matthew 5:38-48. God never says, “Do evil to those who do you evil.” God never does anything evil; we do it to one another or the devil does it. In Genesis in its narrative of the creation, after God has done his work of creation we read: “God saw how good it was.” In chapter 3 & 4 of Genesis we read that evil came into this world by what was done by Adam & Eve and then by Cain.
Jesus said, “Offer no resistance to one who is evil.” However, Jesus clearly resisted the temptations of the devil in the desert. At Nazareth when the people became infuriated with him and brought him “to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him headlong, he passed through the midst of them and went away.” (Mark 4:29b-30) Again Jesus resisted their evil intent. My understanding of what Jesus meant by “offer no resistance” is that there are occasions when things work out better when one offers no resistance and so we do not offer resistance. The best example of that is when Jesus did not resist his arrest by the band of soldiers and guards that Judas brought into the garden of Gethsemane because he (Jesus) had been brought into this world to offer himself up as a sacrifice for the redemption of our sins. Jesus said, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” God is infinitely perfect. In our humanness we have a limited capacity to accomplish what is good. If we are called to our judgment when we are on the life’s road doing our best in God’s eyes, all will go well. The measure of the goodness to which we are called is God and God alone. God’s love embraces us to be holy as he is holy.
1 Corinthians 3:16-23. “Brothers and Sisters: Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.” By our baptism the Holy Spirit dwells in us and works with us to create that truly holy person that is to be a child of God made in his image and likeness. The Holy Spirit enables us to share in God’s holiness. Remember that only saints are permitted in heaven. It is our life’s work and goal to become saints by achieving holiness through uniting our life to the work of the Holy Spirit in us.