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March 11, 2019: Monday of the First Week of Lent

Reading Leviticus 19:1-2,11-18
Gospel Matthew 25:31-46

“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

At the beginning of this first full week of Lent, Jesus preaches to us about the Final Judgment. The parable that Jesus preaches in today’s Gospel passage reminds us of the old adage: “Always begin with your end in mind.” This saying is good for reflection first thing in the morning, as an entire day upon God’s green earth stretches out before us. At the beginning of the day we pray the Morning Offering, which reminds us that each day on earth is about God: living in His love, and for His glory.

This saying—“Always begin with the end in mind.”—is good for reflection at the beginning of Lent, as we recognize our need for conversion, our need for forgiveness, and our need for redemption. Thanks be to God that all of these are possible in Christ!

Some would argue that God’s Judgment at the Second Coming inspires fear, and so therefore we ought not reflect upon either the Second Coming, or upon the three of the four Last Things that seem “negative”: Hell, death and judgment. But Hell, death and judgment do not come directly from God. God permits each, but only when man chooses them. God’s direct choice is always love. Love is the end for which God has created each person. Reflecting upon the consequences of the Last Things help us more firmly choose God in all things, even in suffering.