It is 15th February 2016. The readings are from Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18; and the Gospel from Matthew 25:31-46. The first reading instructs about the merciful law which included the welfare of the poor and the foreigner. Loving God must be shown in being merciful to those who are in need especially those who have less than we do. Being merciful includes not to steal, lie, deceive, swear falsely, defraud, hold back the wages, not to curse the physically challenged, not to be partial to the poor and favouring the rich, not to spread slander, not to endanger the neighbour, not to hate family members, not to take revenge, and to be faithful to the Lord. “Be holy because, I the Lord your God, am holy. Each of you must respect one’s mother and father.” (Lev.19:2-3). The responsorial Psalm acclaims, “Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.” (Jn.6:64). The Gospel describes vividly the last judgement based on how we treat the poor in our communities. The works of mercy matters for our personal salvation and to have an entry into eternal life. Feeding the poor, clothing the naked, quenching the thirst, welcoming the stranger and homeless, visiting the sick and the prisoners are the foundational expressions of our faith in Jesus. Our public confessions of our belief in Jesus needs to be demonstrated through the corporal works of mercy. “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.” (Mt.25:40). One need not necessarily be wealthy in order to do the works of mercy. Jesus does not like excuses in doing the works of mercy. No one can substitute this responsibility to the other. Everyone has a portion to offer. May the Lord give you the courage to do your portion to the poor. Have a good day.

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