Monday of the First Week
In the first reading today, the Lord tells Moses to be holy and proceeds to list a whole series of admonishments for His people to be cognizant of, until ending His lecture with the prescient phrase, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
In the Gospel, Matthew picks up this theme of neighborly love by defining it further for Jesus’ followers. By dividing them into two groups, there is no gray area as to who is a true disciple. Look at how you live your life—to be with Jesus you have to actively care for the poor, the sick, the needy and the lonely. If you don’t, you’re really not on His side.
Those early disciples had no idea their good deeds would lead to salvation. They weren’t doing it to earn God’s favor; they just saw people in need and took care of them. Embedded in His parable was the difference between doing good deeds out of love as opposed to the fear of damnation. Their actions had to be authentic and genuine, not selfish and self-serving. Jesus is talking about a manner of living, a concern for social justice, and an authentic love for one another.
Holy Father, we pray that we may love our neighbor as ourselves as Jesus loved us by giving Himself for us.
Joseph Boutin, ’69, G’18, former member of the Board of Trustees and Member of our Worshipping Community
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