I was asked the other day, “How do we know what to do here on earth that almost guarantees our entrance into heaven?” Today’s first reading from the Apostle John provides a great start in addressing the answer to that question when he wrote;
The way we may be sure that we know Jesus, is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.
I think it’s safe to say that each of us would be willing to do what is necessary for the love of God to be truly perfected in our hearts and minds. I believe it requires two things on our behalf;
- Our having the trust and faith in God that Mary had.
- Our studying and practicing living a virtuous life.
It takes a concerted effort of our putting in the work to become Christ-like. It means you and I have to work every day practicing the seven Holy Virtues; Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance, Faith, Hope, and Charity. I’m going to recommend that we add two more virtues; Chastity and Humility. Until we master these nine virtues, we will be challenged to have God truly perfected in our hearts and minds. We will be truly challenged to journey through life in a Christ-like manner.
In the book of 2nd Peter the Apostle Peter explains that being virtuous is an essential building block for the ultimate quality in God’s kingdom:
For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.2nd Peter 1:5-11