Monday 6th March – Monday of the 1st week of Lent
Reflection: Matthew 25:31-46
As we take up the challenge to grow in holiness, Christ reminds us in today’s gospel reading that our piety should not be unidirectional – directed only to God. Our piety instead should be directed both to God in prayer and to our neighbor in showing love.
Today’s first reading runs through a list of “thou shall nots” which God gave to Moses for the Israelites. God warned his chosen people against taking advantage of the less privileged in their midst: the blind, the dumb, laborers who depended on them for their wages etc. They were to desist from the temptation of taking advantage of those at their mercy. What is more? Christ shows that our call doesn’t simply stop at that. Our Christian call invites us to take a step further. While we should not take advantage of the less privileged, we must take advantage of the opportunity their presence in our midst offers us – the opportunity to give, to love, to reach out, to provide.
We are called to recognize Christ, present in the hungry, the sick, the homeless, the stranger and prisoner and even those closest to us who need our help or attention in any way. The call to almsgiving during Lent offers you and I a reminder to be more conscious of practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. As you step out today, seek the opportunities God offers you to extend a helping hand and be sure to take good advantage of them to deepen your love for God and for your neighbor.
Prayer: Lord, please take away the selfishness in me that makes me shrink from extending my hands to those in need. Fill my heart with love and mercy this season of grace. Amen.
Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 450 – What are the “corporal works of mercy”? To feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and the imprisoned, and bury the dead.
451 What are the “spiritual works of mercy”? The spiritual works of mercy are: to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, admonish the sinner, bear wrongs patiently, forgive all injuries, and pray for the living and the dead.
Hide a Treasure: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40 RSV-CE
Today’s Readings: Lev 19:1-2, 11-18; Psalm 19:8-10, 15; Mt 25: 31-46