This is the will of God, your holiness:
We are often told that we should be holy. We even read from time to time that God himself is holy. If we understand “holy” as being pious, prayerful, etc., we may miss the point. Holiness, in the biblical sense, means to be different. Our God is not like any of the gods of the pagans. God’s value system is far above anything we know or imagine. God’s holiness teaches us a new way of living and the only authentic way for us who were made in God’s image and likeness.
The thrust of this section in Paul’s letter is that the sole aim of a Christian’s life is to please God. Verses 1, 2, and 7 emphasize this point of pleasing God or holy living. The question is, “How do we please God?” We are being told that the evidence of our faith must manifest itself in our daily living. Paul insists on this. 1 Thessalonians 2:12 urges us to live lives worthy of God. Verses 4:1 and 7:1 tell us to live to please God, for God did not call us to be impure but to live a holy life.
Holiness is seen, Paul tells us, in the practical matters of sexual conduct. That is only one point. Holiness also includes honest work, caring for people, etc. Paul notes here that we should not behave as those who do not know God. Let us be frank. The value system of our world is far removed from the example of a life pleasing to God modeled by Christ. Jesus’ dying for us while we were yet sinners, something we celebrate at each Mass, is the ultimate example of a genuinely holy life.
Let Us Pray:
O loving God, help me to make my own the value system taught and exemplified by your Son Jesus. May my holiness be an example to all who see me.