Holy Spirit, Holy Bible, Holy Communion, Holy Thursday, Holy Orders, holy ground, Holy Catholic Church. Today, I’m thinking of what the word “Holy” means. Webster’s Dictionary says this as its number one definition: “belonging to or coming from God.” Each of the examples listed above are things that belong to, or come from, God Almighty. Since God is the Supreme Being, the Creator, the Sacred One of heaven, it follows that anything touched by, belonging to, or coming from Him is described by this word, “Holy.”
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit IS God. No problem there. The Holy Bible, or Holy Scripture, is the word of God, i.e., books written by human beings who were inspired by God to write what they wrote. Yes, “coming from God.” Holy Communion is the reception of the consecrated Body and Blood of Christ, the Son of God. The Son of God is God Himself, so again, no problem. Holy Thursday, and Holy Saturday and Holy Week, are days during which the passion, death and burial of Jesus, the Son of God, is celebrated. Obviously here we celebrate the special days that were touched by God 2000 years ago.
Holy Orders refers to the rite or sacrament of Christian ordination to become a priest, a bishop, or a deacon. These individuals are dedicating their lives to God and to the sacred mission to minister to the people of God. Yes, indeed, a commitment of “belonging to God,” a commitment to His greater honor and glory. “Holy ground” is what God Himself called the ground where Moses stood on Mount Sinai when he saw the burning bush. Yes, “touched by God.”
Now we come to “Holy Catholic Church” in our list. Why is the Catholic Church referred to as “holy?” Some may argue that it is just one of tens of thousands of Christian denominations around the world and, as such, cannot have such a word associated with it while the others do not. Ah, but it is not just another denomination. It is THE Church founded by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is the Church that was built and continues to be guided by the Holy Spirit and the fullness of Christian truth. It is the Church whose church buildings are blessed by God’s continuing physical presence. It is a Church that has been touched by God, comes from God, and belongs to God. It is holy indeed! Amen! Alleluia!