“Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy” … “Be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
This week both our first reading and our Gospel speak to us in a very direct way. Both Leviticus and Matthew challenge us to live and act as the Lord God acts. We are called to be holy, in all our actions, words and deeds.
Now, I admit right off the bat that this is a tall order. We might initially think; how can I ever do this? How can I be holy, how can I be perfect, only God is perfect? But we must remember, that even in our weakness and humanness, we can attain this goal. We have been given the model and we do have the resources at hand to do this.
Jesus came to us, sent by God our Father, to give us the example of how we are to live our lives. He challenges us to not only love those that will love us back or to love people that are easy to love, but to love the people that are not so easy to love. I am sure that we all have one or to people that might fit into that category in our lives. And, what about people that we have made our self-proclaimed enemies?
Our Lord Jesus is always challenging us to take the next step, to go above and beyond what might be considered to be the norm. We not only are called to love our friends and family, but we are called to love our enemies as well.
I am sure that if we are honest, each one of us may have a someone in our lives that we do not love as we should. This someone may have struck us on our right cheek, and our reaction instead of turning and offering the left cheek, was to strike back with an equally sharp blow.
Where in our lives this week do we need to simply offer the other cheek, our cloak, to walk an extra mile, so that instead of continuing down the path of hatred and violence, we offer peace and love?
This next week, I am going to be taking some vacation time and make a visit over to the beach to catch up on some reading and to have a few days of rest before we begin our 2017 Lenten journey. Please check the calendar for our communion service times for the coming week.
Next weekend, we welcome back Fr. Villone. He was here a couple of years ago and spoke about Perpetual Adoration. He will again be speaking on this subject and we will have the opportunity to commit again, or for some to commit for the first time, to take an hour and spend it with Jesus in our Perpetual Adoration chapel. Please welcome him and I will see you all on Ash Wednesday, March 1. We will have Mass at 8:30 am and 7:00 pm that day.