March 7, 2022
Monday of the First week of Lent
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we are invited to be like God:
The LORD said to Moses,Leviticus 19:1
“Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel
and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.
Our first reading goes on to tell us how to be a decent person.
Don’t steal, lie, or cheat
Pay just wages
Respect and help those physically burdened
Be impartial and just
Don’t slander, hate, take revenge, or hold a grudge
Leviticus, after a long list of practical examples, sums it up:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.Leviticus 19:18
I am the LORD.
Our Gospel tells us what happens when we make the choice to take the Old Testament advice — or not.
We are all familiar with the parable of the sheep and the goats. And we all hope our scorecard gets us into the right herd “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him …”
In this parable, Jesus puts the advice of Leviticus into practical form for his followers. But he adds one dynamic element that not only invites but impels our wholehearted response:
Amen, I say to you,Matthew 25:40
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.
Leviticus invites us to become holy as God is holy. But Jesus reveals the secret that this Holy God lives in the poor, hungry, homeless, imprisoned and sick. By embracing these most beloved of God, we find the path to holiness.
Poetry: When Did I See You – Renee Yann, RSM
When Did I See You …
(Woman Who Is Homeless)
In the bitter rain of February
I sat inside a sunlit room,
and offered You warm prayer.
Then, she passed outside my window
dressed too lightly for the wind,
steadied on a cane, though she was young.
She seemed searching for
a comfort, unavailable and undefined.
The wound of that impossibility
fell over her the way it falls
on every tender thing that cries
but is not gathered to a caring breast.
Suddenly she was a single
anguished seed of You,
fallen into all created things.
Gathering my fallen prayer,
I wear the thought of her
like cracked earth wears fresh rain.
I’ve misconstrued You,
Holy One, to whom
I spread my heart
as if it were a yearning field…
Holy One, already ripe within
her barest, leanest yearning.
Music: The Least of These – Karl Kohlhase