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What Is Holiness?

July 9, 2010


[T]he aspect of Christ’s holiness that upset his contemporaries was the complete absence of [a] condemnatory note — fire did not fall on the unworthy, nor were the zealous allowed to pull up the weeds they saw growing luxuriantly on all sides. On the contrary, this holiness expressed itself precisely as mingling with the sinners whom Jesus drew into his vicinity; as mingling to the point where he himself was made “to be sin” and bore the curse of the law in execution as a criminal — complete community of fate with the lost. He has drawn sin to himself, made it his lot, and so revealed what true “holiness” is: not separation, but union; not judgment, but redeeming love.

—Pope Benedict XVI, Introduction to Christianity, 342.

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