Monday of the First Week
God is the model Father: He invites His children to be holy but doesn’t leave it at that; He describes the course of action that allows us to be holy people, sharing with us what behaviors to refrain from and asking us to emulate His holiness. During this Lenten season, we can ask ourselves how well we have followed God’s commandments. We may spend time becoming acutely aware of our actions or inactions, realizing our sinfulness. While it may seem a rigorous course to follow, God’s law, we are told in the responsorial psalm, is “perfect,” “clear”, “true,” and “enlightening.” The path to holiness is clearly laid out. As Christians, we are called to follow this path.
It’s easy to skim through today’s Gospel reading since it’s a passage we may have heard many times, but Christ’s words to His disciples in this Scripture serve as a reminder of our call to serve others. Lent, as a time of sacrifice, causes us to think about how we give of ourselves. With Christ as our example of ultimate self-sacrifice, we can use this season to reflect on the ways in which we have ministered to those around us, thereby pleasing the Lord. In this passage, we also become aware of Christ’s presence within all people and come to know that, in loving others, we show our love for the Lord. I find this an especially pertinent reminder to always represent our faith well, to actively work toward constantly embodying God’s love for humanity in the name of Jesus Christ.
Lord, as we begin the season of Lent, let us reflect on Your commandments, striving always to live our lives according to Your law. Help us to seek out opportunities to serve others before ourselves, extending our love, compassion, and gifts with those we meet. Remind us, Lord, that Christ is present within all of Your people, and give us the graces we need to serve You by serving our world.
Ellen Desmond, ‘12
First Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18
Psalm 19:8-10, 15
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website