Today’s Thoughts: While the section of the Book of Leviticus which is our first reading today seems to be a list of what to do and not do I think more importantly it is a reminder of how to be a Christian, a Catholic. These commands that Moses offers the people today are all about being a compassionate and loving person. Yes, they say what to do and not do, mostly what not to do, but if we think about not doing things like stealing, lying, swearing falsely, using profanity, making fun of people with disabilities, not acting dishonestly, not gossiping, not living with hate we can begin to see a life enriched by the presence of God. We can begin to see a life where we love our neighbor rather than hate our neighbor.
The advancement in technology and social media is a wonderful thing. It gives us information in an instant. It makes it possible to communicate across vast miles in seconds. It brings people and experiences into our homes at the instants they happen. But it also enables us to be very non-Christian without even thinking about it. We can slander, berate, gossip, hurt and even hate others without even leaving our homes. It is like playing a video game and yet our words, our thoughts put down on Facebook, Twitter and all the other forms of social media can sometimes be profoundly hurtful and un-Christian.
The first reading reminds us today that whether we are standing in front of a person or thousands of miles away we still have a responsibility to be a person of faith, a person of God and that means being loving not hateful and destructive.
Jesus continues this theme in the Gospel with the very famous phrase, "whatever you did to one of the least brothers [or sisters] of mine, you did to me." Our words and actions whether in the midst of people or over the internet have consequences. If we are kind, loving and compassionate to whomever we encounter, wherever we encounter them we will be welcome in the Kingdom!
Have a blessed Monday everyone.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...