February 27, 2012
Monday of the First
Week of Lent
Alex Yeung, LC
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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. He will place
the sheep on his right and the goats on his
left. 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.´ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ´Lord,
when did we see you hungry and feed you, or
thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you
a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and
visit you?´ And the king will say to them in
reply, ´Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for
one of these least brothers of mine, you did for
me.´ Then he will say to those on
his left, ´Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal
fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I
was hungry and you gave me no food, I was
thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and
you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me
no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not
care for me.´ Then they will answer and say, ´Lord,
when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a
stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not
minister to your needs?´ 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."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are my Savior and
Redeemer. I place all my hope and trust in your
divine heart. United to you, all things are possible —
even my holiness. With childlike faith and trusting you without
limits, I know that I will experience the triumph of
your grace in my life. I wish to grow in
holiness today, so that I will love you, my God,
above all else. Amen.
Petition: Lord, help me to appreciate that growth in
holiness occurs within a Christian community.
1. Holiness is Essentially Seeking the Good
of Others: The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that
“charity is the soul of the holiness to which all
are called: it ‘governs, shapes and perfects all the means
of sanctification.’” And quoting St. Therese of Lisieux, it reminds
Church was a body composed of different members, it couldn´t
lack the noblest of all; it must have a heart,
and a heart burning with love. And I realized that
this love alone was the true motive force which enabled
the other members of the Church to act; if it
ceased to function, the apostles would forget to preach the
Gospel, the martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. (Catechism
of the Catholic Church, 826).
In today’s Gospel Jesus grants eternal life to
those who did good to others, whom he identifies as
his very self. Contrariwise, he sends to eternal damnation those
who did nothing to help others, whom he identifies as
his very self.
2. Holiness Necessarily Entails a Dedication to the Christian Mission:
Hand-in-hand with genuine charity is our sense of Christian mission.
There is no genuine holiness apart from a radical orientation
toward the spiritual and material good of others. In a
word: there is no holiness without mission. As Pope John
Paul II reminds us:
The universal call to holiness is closely linked to
the universal call to mission. Every member of the faithful
is called to holiness and to mission. This was the
earnest desire of the [Second Vatican] Council, which hoped to
be able “to enlighten all people with the brightness of
Christ, which gleams over the face of the Church, by
preaching the Gospel to every creature.” The Church´s missionary spirituality
is a journey toward holiness … (Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio,
cry out for this kind of holiness, one enflamed by
the ardent determination to bring as many of our brothers
and sisters as possible to Christ.
3. Holiness Occurs Within the Christian Community:
This universal call to holiness and mission is meant to
be fostered within the context of a Christian community. We
are meant to spur each other on by our devotion,
good example, generosity and encouragement.
Dear brothers and sisters: let us remember the
missionary enthusiasm of the first Christian communities. Despite the limited
means of travel and communication in those times, the proclamation
of the Gospel quickly reached the ends of the earth.
And this was the religion of a man who had
died on a cross, ‘a stumbling block to Jews and
folly to Gentiles’! (I Corinthians 1:23). Underlying this missionary dynamism
was the holiness of the first Christians and the first
communities (Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 90).
Do I strive to build up my
family and Christian community with missionary awareness? Do I value
the example and help I receive, and do I strive
to help others along this same path of holiness?
Conversation with Christ: Lord,
make my holiness real. Let it be characterized by a
heartfelt, growing and universal love for all people. Let my
heart beat in unison with yours. Open my eyes to
all the good that I can do for my brothers
and sisters, and don’t allow me to walk away from
any opportunity to show this world your love. Amen.
Resolution: I will take
some time today to examine my conscience and honestly assess
the spontaneity, depth and extension of my charity towards others,
especially those I supposedly love the most.