“Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.”
Today’s readings challenge us to be like God.
Yes, you read that right. Today’s readings challenge us to be like God. Leviticus tells us to be holy as God is Holy. Jesus tells us in the Gospel to be perfect as the Father is perfect.
How is it possible to be like God?
The short answer is one word: love!
Love changes us. On a human level, we see this all the time. Fulton Sheen reminds us, “We become like that which we love. If we love what is base, we become base; but if we love what is noble, we become noble.” If we surround ourselves with things that are beautiful and noble, we start to become nobler ourselves. However, if we surround ourselves with things that are wicked and dishonorable, we quickly find ourselves descending to their level. This is especially true of our friendships.
It is even more true on a spiritual level. St. Paul reminds us, “Whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him” 1 Cor. 6:17. Our love for the Lord binds us to Him and we become like Him. Rooted in the gift of faith given at our baptism and the other sacraments, our love for the Lord makes all the difference in our lives.
Love is how we become holy, as God is Holy. Love is the key to becoming perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. The greater our love for the Lord, the more we become like Him. This is the core of Jesus’ teaching on the Law that we’ve been reading the last several weeks. The Law is a matter of the heart. It is a matter of love.
May we continue to grow in love for the Lord so that we can become like Him in all things!
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood