February 19: The Day of the Lord

Regardless of what we think about “climate change,” there is no denying the “heat” of the contemporary political climate (especially in Washington, DC) … and the vitriol and venom that suffuse it. Believe it or not, that is much like the context in which Jesus counsels His followers (including us) to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Regardless of our political leanings, how are we really supposed to love like that? Or what are we supposed to do (really) when the Lord enjoins us to be as “perfect,” as holy – as God?

Whereas we might think the “call to holiness” is something for “others” or we might only see holiness exclusively as a quality we admire in “others,” like Mother Teresa, or our Grandmothers, or the Pope, it remains a central calling for all who seek to follow the way of the Lord.

Especially in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus calls all of us to love – as God loves: not sparingly, not grudgingly, but fully, deeply, and robustly. Jesus calls all of us to love as God loves: not with strings attached and looking for something in return, but freely, selflessly and generously. Jesus calls all of us to love as God loves: not with hidden pockets (or corners) of anger and resentment, but with peace, with mercy, and with forgiveness.

Worth pondering this week: holiness is nurtured, lived, and shared both inside the walls of our church and outside them as well – in all the times and ways we cross paths with one another, on the streets where we live, in the places where we work, shop, and play, and on roads which stretch around the globe. May the Sacrament we share at the Lord’s Table today nourish in each of us a desire to be holy, to be holy even as the Lord is holy.

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