Leviticus 19: 1-2, 11-18
Matthew 25: 31-46
“Be holy, for I the Lord your God, as holy”.
Wow! How are we to be “holy” as the Other is “holy”?
“You must not deal deceitfully or fraudulently with your neighbour…..nor exploit or rob your neighbour……” Be aware of the way you relate to the people who come into your life – whether an intimate friend or a total stranger.
This is a very “down to earth” way of ‘being holy’.
The dramatic scene in Matthew’s gospel describing what will happen “when the Son of Man comes in his glory”, again in the same way as Leviticus, cuts to the very heart of God and lays bare what our faith is all about.
The only way to follow Christ is to be aware of my neighbours and to be able to discern what their needs really are, and to know my own heart well enough to know what I can do to serve them.
“I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of my sisters or brothers, you did it to me”.
Being able to see into another person’s life, into their heart and into their inner life, is a never-ending journey. An essential part of that journey, in its very DNA, so to speak, is trust in God, as I know that I am always relating, communicating, and loving God with my own fragility. This “holiness” comes through our own fragility.
So – prayer, communicating with the Christ, the Word, “through whom all things are made”, is as much part of this life as food and drink, love, and acceptance, are for our lives here and now.
When I am strong with peace of heart, I can communicate with the God who is always communicating with me. When I am down and fearful or frightened or lonely, I can just as certainly communicate with God, who is always in communication with me.
Coping with the continual learnings about our universe – its structure, size, age, etc.- is a small parallel to believing that we can be “holy” in the same way God is “holy”.
Tony Egar CP is a Passionist Priest that lives at St.Paul Monestry, Glen Osmond, SA.