Leviticus 19:1 and Matthew 5:48 are like two bookends that are a summary of the entirety of Christ’s teachings, including the Beatitudes. In Leviticus, the opening line is “The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them: Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.” In the Gospel of Matthew the closing line is, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” God is holy, God is perfect.
It is humanly quite impossible for a created being to be as perfect as God. What Our Lord means is that God’s perfection should be the model that every faithful Christian tries to follow, even though there is an infinite distance between himself and his Creator. We must take into account the enormous help grace gives us to tend toward divine perfection, calling us not to achieve the wisdom of God (which we never could) but to love and mercy.
Today’s Psalm 103 speaks of God’s mercy for us. We are fast approaching Lent, a time set apart for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Another key component to Lent is Sacramental Confession. Throughout Lent, as today, we will hear about God’s mercy and how we are to be merciful to others. Confession reestablishes our relationship with God and our neighbor. This prepares us for the celebration of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday
Mrs. Peggy Brechtel, OP