Today's readings bring to mind something I have been meditating on a lot lately. The concept of Holiness. We all have so many varied definitions of Holiness, from being set apart, to being like God, to even the notion that being Holy means being free from sin. Recently though someone brought to my attention something that today's first reading says clearly:
Then he said, “Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5
The ground itself can be Holy. Holy then doesn't mean free from sin... because the ground cannot sin. It's just a part of creation and God said that all of creation was good, so what makes this ground different than another ground? Why is the ground over there not Holy, but this ground is? The presence of God. That's an interesting thing to think about. Our Sanctuary is Holy at the church because God is present in the tabernacle. Our churches are Holy. Our Priests can rightly be called Holy, because they have God in them. It's not about them not having sin. It's not about them being perfect. It's about them being ordained, having the Spirit of God in them.
Then a thought struck my mind. We as Catholics believe that we are to look for Jesus in every face we meet. "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me." Every person is made in the image of God.. regardless of their sin, regardless of their realization of it.. they have an inherit dignity. Doesn't that in a way make all of creation Holy? If Jesus is walking around everywhere.. shouldn't we be treating all of our life as if we were in a Holy place?
We often act different in 'church' than we do in public, and much more so in private. Yet if we think about the fact that God is omnipresent... he is everywhere... not just in the burning bush, but also in the dirty bedroom. Not just in the tabernacle, but in the congregation. Not just in the Priest, but in the laity.... Then shouldn't we be authentic everywhere? And that person we are in church.. should be the person we are everywhere.. because we should strive to become the man we think we should be there.
So what about you? Do you take your shoes off in the presence of God? If we think of shoes as 'flesh', as the sinful nature we have... do you attempt to remove your shoes period? Because this ground your standing on.. that's Holy ground.