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Homily (Reflection) for Monday of the First Week of Lent (15th February, 2016) on the Gospel

 

Lev 19:1-2.11-18;
Ps 18:8-10.15 (Jn 6:64);
Matt 25:31-46.

Topic: Eternal life or punishment.
We see the picture of the judgement of the nations in today’s gospel. People will be separated one from another according to their deeds as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. The sheep will be placed on his right while the goats on His left. He will say to the sheep, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt 25:34). And to the goats, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41). Pronouncements will be based on one’s attitude towards the poor, the thirsty, the strangers, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned, cf. Matt 25:35-36, 42-43.

Certainly one might be disturbed that he or she would have done something but for the lack of the means. Pope Saint Leo the Great rightly writes,

There are all manner of possible works of mercy and their very variety implies this for true Christians that both the rich and the poor have opportunities for doing good. Thus, even if we are not equal in our worldly goods, we can achieve an equal standard in the love of our fellows.[1]

Whoever wants to be called blessed on the judgement day must bless those around him or her now. One must work towards where he or she wants to spend eternity. And this important decision must be made by each person. Nobody will do it for another. We must remember that those who will be on God’s left will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life, cf. Matt 25:46. Decide now where you want to be.

Bible Reading: Prov 30:5-9; Rom 12:9-21.

Thought for today: Where do you work towards – heaven or hell?

Let us pray: Lord, on our own we can do nothing. Please, help our struggle towards eternal life – Amen.

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[1] Pope Saint Leo the Great. Sermon 6 on Lent, 1-2. In The divine office: The liturgy of the hours according to the roman rite, II (1997). pp. 14-15.

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