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Monday of the First Week of Lent – February 27, 2023

Bishop’s Reflections

February 27, 2023

Every day of Lent, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click HERE for the readings.

Monday of the First Week of Lent – February 27, 2023

The first reading at Mass today is from God’s law as found in Leviticus. God is very clear. He says: ‘Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy” (Lv 19:2).

Holiness is not just for other people. It is not just for canonized saints. All of us are called to be holy – no exceptions.

But what is holiness?

We are holy when we live as God intended, when we are who we were made to be. We become holy when we reflect our true identity. And our identity comes from the fact that we are made in God’s image and likeness. Since God is love, then when we act like we were made to be – God’s love in the world -- we are holy, as God is holy.

Jesus explained it further in the Gospel for today. (Mt 25:31-46) Jesus said that to be holy means to love as God loves by taking care of the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned. Love is more than a thought or feeling. Love must be put into action.

Holiness is more than sitting in a church and praying to God – although prayer is quite essential. Holiness flows from our connectedness to God in prayer so that we can be like God in our actions in the world.

Here is a good example of this: St. Theresa of Calcutta reminded her sisters that the Jesus they adored hidden under the signs of bread and wine in the Blessed Sacrament in Church is the same Jesus they served living in disguise among the poor. To adore the Lord in the Eucharist leads to taking care of the same Lord who lives in others.

May we be holy as God is holy.

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