Monday of the First Week of Lent

Mt 25, 31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”

The Tree of Holiness

In today’s reading we hear Yahweh reveal to Moses and fundamental Law:” Be holy, for I, Yahweh, your God am holy.” What is holiness? How does one become holy?

Holiness is following the way of Christ. And the way of Christ is the way of Cross! Under the sign of the Cross we pray, bless and are sacrified. It is in the sign of the Cross that we become holy. The Cross has two dimentions, namedly, the vertical and the horizontal. The vertical dimention tell us to raise our eyes to God in heaven in prayer. The horizontal dimention tell us to reach out to our brother and sister in charity, in the corporal works of mercy. This remainds me of two beautifulliterary pieces

In “The Tree” Joyce Kilmer wrote:
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree tha looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
Holiness is stretching our arms in prayer.

The other literary piece is “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. It is the story of an apple tree that gives itself to a man from boyhood to adulthood. The “giving tree” gave its entire life to the boy. Holiness is giving until it hurts, giving until nothing remains!

Yes, holiness is about the Cross!Holiness is becoming like Jesus who prayed with out-stretched arms and giving all! Holiness comes in the form of The Tree of Life, the Cross!

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