Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday of the First Week
The Law.  Judgment.  The words are cold and hard. Rules and regulations; enforcers with stern faces. [Speed limits and traffic cops; taxes and the IRS.]. We would prefer not to be entangled with these things. The book of Leviticus contains regulation upon regulation for everything imaginable from eating to bathing to sex and the style of one’s beard, and repeatedly the reminder to obey because “I am the Lord.” 

 Jesus will take things in an entirely different direction.

The verses chosen from Leviticus for today’s first reading already contain a hint about the true nature of God’s law. “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” And what follows in the words God gives to Moses are simply concrete, common sense directions for living with justice and compassion for our fellow human beings. Don’t steal, don’t defraud; judge justly, and act with concern for your neighbor. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” No complicated rules here. No “lording over.”

Jesus takes this shift in attitude one step further. He says: when you live this way, with justice and compassion toward your neighbor, then you are in fact loving Me, because I am there – I am your neighbor, your sister, your brother. Simple, really. The farthest thing from codes and regulations. See Jesus in every person. Act with love and justice and compassion.

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.”  The concept is simple; but it requires a profoundly new way of seeing, a conversion of heart.
Lord, write Your law of love into our hearts and minds, so that we may see You in every person, and find the strength and wisdom to live and act with love.

Zsuzanna Kadas, Professor of Mathematics

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

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