Holiness: Fulfillment That Conquers Our Emptiness

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: https://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Mass-Blog-for-Easter-Sunday-2024.mp3)

The readings for Easter Sunday give us two pictures of Peter the Rock: One telling us that, before seeing and believing the significance of his Master’s empty tomb, he didn’t understand the teaching that Jesus had to rise from the dead. This is the guy who was so afraid of the people who put his Master in the grave that, while Jesus was still alive, Peter denied even knowing him. So once his understanding of that newly empty space kicks in, we meet a new Peter: one secure in his Master’s forgiveness and strong on sharing it with the world:

“Everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name,” he reassures us. (Acts 10:34a, 37-43)

Forgiveness is the first step to holiness—the forgiveness we give as well as we get. There are many more steps, Peter tells us in his first letter:

“Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, “Be holy because I [am] holy.” (1Peter 1:13-16)

 A recent article in a faith-based magazine stated that demonic possession is at an all-time-high, and the reason is that humans aren’t as “holy” as we once were.

This begs the question, “Can there be degrees of holiness or just degrees of our corruption?” Our faith’s role models exhibited perfect holiness, and inspired us to spend our lives striving to get there by God’s grace. Catholics are called to believe that Mary was the only human (besides her son) conceived in that grace–without sin. Nobody else.

Could it be that a well-lived life is one spent peeling off our layers of corruption so we can see and hear God? Or maybe, so God can see us in the state for which we were created? We may never become THAT spiritually naked in this life, but ultimately, Divine unity is accomplished by God’s grace, not by our trying to be holier than the next guy as judged by human eyes. Easter Sunday’s letter from Paul calls us to rise above our search for an earthly spotlight and to add our own light to God’s glory.

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.” (Col 3:1-4)

For us corrupt humans, surrounded by this world’s deafening invitations to join its noise, could the road to holiness be found by separating from that chaos so we can hear an otherworldly invitation to live God’s perfect peace? Holiness, like love, is lived—not measured by our own sliding scale of fulfillment. Fullness can be found in an empty tomb.

Peaceful Easter to you and your family.

–Tom Andel

P.S.: On Palm Sunday, Clinical Psychologist Dr. Ray Guarendi advised our Brother Knights attending the Lafayette Council’s breakfast program not to expect schools to defend their kids’ faith while smart phones continuously expose those children to a corrupt adult world. Holiness starts at home. If it doesn’t, the world’s evils will train the child’s free will that freedom comes from them, not from God. Even Jesus couldn’t save people who chose to be held captive by a world that calls such captivity freedom. Here’s a link to his conclusion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYDBEFLum_4


  1. Our captivity is following our own path. Our freedom is in following the risen Lord Jesus. We can gain nothing on our own, except what the world wants to give us, and that is generally pitiful.

    We set our sights too low and attempt to make this life the main event. It’s part of our human nature. However, if we can look beyond ourselves and circumstances of our current state, and walk the path of Christ we can find our eternal home with Him.

    Nothing else really matters. Nothing else!

    Happy Easter

    • We compound our own losses by letting our children make the same mistakes we did. We equip them with a smart phone but let them enter the world way too early–without first helping them put on the armor of faith, hope and love. Learning from our mistakes and sharing that wisdom with others is the road less traveled. The one leading home.

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