“but You shall love your neighbour as yourself”
These words from Leviticus are spoken by the Lord to Moses whom he instructed to; “Speak to the whole community and say to them; You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” This is his call to us to follow his way. At the beginning of this first week of Lent the start of Lent the words of sacred scripture guide us on the right path as we commit ourselves to follow this year’s Lenten theme; “From Repentance to Renewal.” If we are genuinely serious about wanting to transform our lives so that we may live as God has calls us to: “be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”
Leviticus offers us these words of advice in our journey to become Holy: Do not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. Do not use my name falsely. You shall not oppress your neighbour or rob him. You shall fear your God and LOVE your neighbour as yourself.
If we look into ourselves (which is what we are meant to do during Lent), at the totally unplanned ways we have brought into or left out of our way of living, ways which oppose the ways that God has called us to follow, we can reflect on the teachings of Leviticus which are in a similar, more practical vain, and repeated in the Gospel: These are when we don’t – feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, welcome the stranger and clothe the naked.
Jesus tells us that we must be “holy as His Father in heaven is holy” for there will be a judgement when “He will separate the sheep from the goats.” Those who follow His Word on His right and those who do not, on His left (left out?). “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”
Bring some non-perishable food for the Parish Poverty Relief and the St Vincent de Paul feeding scheme. Clear out your cupboards and choose some clothes and shoes you no longer wear to give to the poor, and make a point of greeting people today.
Strengthen me O Lord to embrace your commandment with all my heart so that I may imitate the love, care, kindness and compassion your Son Jesus came to bring. Amen