Meditation for the Day

Monday of the First Week of Lent, March 2

Lent Should Become a Time During Which We Discern How We Have Responded to Those Who Are Less Fortunate, and How God Will Judge Us in the Virtues of Selfless Love and Charity Which We Are Called to Live Throughout Our Daily Lives.

As we continue our Lenten journey today, on this Monday in the first week of Lent, it is fitting that we reflect upon those who are marginalized in today’s society – the poor who live amongst us, the homeless in our midst, those who are mentally and physically challenged.

Many people, unfortunately, tend to turn a blind eye to the suffering and disabled, for they do not wish to be reminded of the less fortunate. And this has been the reaction of many throughout the history of mankind – the poor and the suffering, the downtrodden, the hungry and the naked become “invisible”. It is almost as though many say to themselves, “If I can’t see it, I won’t have to deal with it.”

Yet, in today’s Gospel, our Lord gives us a preview of the Last Judgment: “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.”

And then, our Lord gives us a lesson in the corporal works of mercy, actively living our faith through the virtue of charity, “…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.”

When one studies the painting of the Last Judgment by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, in the lower right hand portion of this amazing work of art is an image of a person sitting in despair, an expression which speaks of the horror which awaits him, and the realization of what might have been – if only he had responded to God’s grace! For he has just been adjudged as one unworthy to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

And this is the image which I have chosen to attach to this meditation, so that we may better reflect upon what awaits those who choose to close a blind eye and a deaf ear to God’s Truth, and who continue to live this lifestyle without remorse or seeking God’s Divine Mercy.

And we read today, “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.”

In our First Reading today from the Book of Leviticus, the third Book of the Torah, or as it is also called the Pentateuch, the opening and closing verses speak to us of what God expects of us in life’s journey – not only during Lent, but throughout the entire year –

“Be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Today’s Scripture Readings call us back to the basics of what it means to be a Christian people, a true child of God. They call us to live the Golden Rule in our daily walk of faith, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.”

The Readings today challenge us to reflect not only upon our relationship with God, but also upon our relationship with each other – and how we measure up as a people of faith in response to God’s call, to all that He is asking of us.

Lent should become for us a time during which we begin to discern how we have responded to those whom our Lord calls “these least brothers of mine”, and how God will judge us in the virtues of selfless love and charity which we are called to live throughout our daily lives.

We cannot afford to miss the point as the scribes did! We cannot afford to be judgmental and turn a blind eye as the Pharisees did!

Today, our Lord is calling each of us to reflect upon our own walk of faith. Our Lord is calling us to an interior transformation, a reform from within, lest we, too, become like the subject of Michelangelo’s painting – filled with despair!

It need not be! The choice is ultimately ours!

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “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.” (Matthew 25:31-32)
  • “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.” (Matthew 25:34-36
  • “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.” (Matthew 25:45-46)
  • “Be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:2b, 18b)
  • “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12a)
  • “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.” (Matthew 7:13-14a)
  • “‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.’(Matthew 19:25b-26)
  • “Who can measure his majestic power, or fully recount his mercies? …That is why the LORD is patient with man and pours out his mercy on him.” (Sirach 18:5, 11)

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Prayer for the Day

“Eternal and Most Loving Father,

I submit my entire self to Your holy will.

All that I am today, transform me into Your servant;

living Your Truth amongst my brothers and sisters.

“Thank You for imbuing me with Your Holy Spirit,

who guides me to live a life of righteousness,

enabling me to be all that You desire me to be,

so that I may give my best in service to Your children.

“Forgive me for my past failures,

rejecting the image of Christ in those around me.

In selfishness, I held back Your love

and fell short in living the virtue of charity.

“Fill my heart with humility,

so that I may always fulfill Your will,

imitating the life of Your Son, Jesus,

giving love without counting the cost.

“In Jesus’ Name, I pray for this grace

for the glory of Your Divine Majesty,

in the Presence of the Holy Spirit,

and for the well-being of my soul for all eternity. Amen.”

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