Monday of the First Week in Lent
(Leviticus 19:1-2.11-18; Matthew 25:31-46)
A movie shows a ranger who takes a boy in his care. The ranger recognizes that the boy has been hurt by the death of his father. Although he does not demand that the lad converse, he expects him to complete his chores. It does not take long for the ranger to win the boy’s respect and confidence. In light of today’s readings it might be said that the ranger is holy.
People often think of holiness as one being set apart in a monastery or hermitage to pray all day. However, in both the reading from Leviticus and Matthew’s gospel holiness has a very dynamic dimension. To be holy is to act like God. Holy people judge fairly and love widely. They also abhor meanness and injustice. Holiness is the abiding quality of those who practice God’s law.
We sometimes call life a “rat race.” We mean that it is a constant struggle to keep up with others. It may be said as well that it is like a “rat race” because we tend to act like rats always appropriating as much as possible for ourselves . During Lent we are urged to leave the rat race behind for holiness. Rather than keeping up with others, we should concentrate on doing what is good for all. Rather than hoarding for ourselves, we should assist our neighbors in need.