Daily Reflection
 March 13th, 2000
Rev. Richard Gabuzda
Academic Affairs
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Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18
Psalms 19:8-10, 15
Matthew 25:31-46

“Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.”  This command in the book of Leviticus is followed by a series of commands, all indicating patterns of behavior that ought to be avoided:  “You shall not steal.  You shall not act dishonestly . . . Take no revenge . . ..”  The implication is that holiness, that quality most associated with God, can be associated with human beings to the extent that they imitate by behavior, the “behavior” of God.  Imitating the holiness of God makes a person holy.

The famous scene of the “Last Judgment” recorded by Matthew takes this insight about holiness and moves us one step further.  To feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the stranger, etc., is not only to imitate the holiness of God; here, it is to encounter God, to encounter God in Jesus.  In the words of the gospel:  “As often as you did it for one of these least ones, you did it for me.”  

As we embark on the journey called Lent, the church sets before us, simply and directly, the truth that our desire to grow in holiness is, or must be, a desire to grow in charity.  The astonishing promise of these Lenten days is that by simple acts of justice, of truth, and of love, we not only imitate the holiness of God and so grow holy.  Rather, in these acts, we grow holy by encountering the Holy One in the persons who are the focus of our justice, truth and love.  May our hunger to encounter the person of Jesus move us to see and serve him in the persons of the “least ones.” 

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