March 2, 2020 – 1st Week of Lent

“Running with the torch of holiness and service to one another burning brightly!”

(Based on Lev 19:1-2, 11-18 and Mt 25:31-46)

Ancient Greeks had a great fascination for light.

In those ancient days of the Greek society, a relay race used to be held called as “Lampadedromia”. (LAMPA-DEDRO-MIA)

This race consisted of the runners holding a torch in their hand, and passing it on the next runner…
… until the final member of the team, crossed the finishing line.

The prize was not awarded to the team that just ran fastest…

It was awarded to the first team, that reached the finishing line…
… with the torch still lit!

There is a big message in this, for all of us Christians…

By our Baptism, we are all given the Torch of Christ…
… and run towards the finishing line!

However, many of us are, perhaps, only busy with the running

Many of us, perhaps, fail to even check, if the light is burning…!

The final Day of Judgment would be a time, when it would be checked…
… if we finish our races, with the lamp still burning!

Are we running with the Flame still burning…?

The Gospel of the Day presents the scene of the Last Judgment…

The passage presents the Son of Man seated in His Majestic and Awesome Glory and all the nations awaiting His judgment. (Mt 25: 31-32)

The sheep, placed on the right side, are the chosen ones to enjoy the bliss of the Kingdom.

The goats, placed on the left side, are the condemned ones to suffer the fire of punishment.

This Passage is one of the very strong and dramatic portions of the Bible…
… that also powerfully shows the Sovereignty and Singularity of Jesus as the One True God and the Only King of the World.

This passage should be a mighty reminder as well as a booster for us to proclaim and declare – without any compromise and wavering – that Jesus is the One and Only True God!

In a pluralistic and heterogeneous world…
In a world which can confuse and cloud our faith…

This Bible Passage comes as a strong reminder for us to say, without any hesitation: “Jesus is Lord!” (Rom 10:9)

Another important aspect to be observed in this passage of the scene of the Last Judgment is the manner in which the Lord looks at human actions.

The Bible says, “Humans look on the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7)

One of the common question that both the groups, the sheep as well the goats, posed was: “When did we know…”

The sheep were taken by surprise, at the occasions which the Lord found them doing good…

They remained unaware of those situations, though they did the good in God’s sight.
They remained unaware of those occasions, though they did the needful in God’s sight.

The goats are taken by surprise, at the occasions, which the Lord found them missing to do good…

They remained unaware of those situations, where they failed to do the good in God’s sight.
They remained unaware of those occasions, where they missed to do the needful in God’s sight.

We may not realize the occasions of doing good…
We may not realize the occasions of having missed doing good…

We may externally engage in many good works, but it may fail to find approval in the Lord’s sight.

This calls for…
… cultivation of an inner disposition to do good.
… building of an inner character to be charitable.

From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks…
From the abundance of goodness within, good actions flow…
From the abundance of love within, loving behaviours proceed…
From the abundance of kindness within, kindhearted conduct emerges…

The book of Leviticus strongly exhorts the need to grow in holiness with the Lord and to live this holiness in our dealings with one another:
“… You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God am holy…
… You shall love your neighbour as yourself…” (Lev 19:1, 18)

Let this season of Lent…
… be an occasion to grow in cultivating love deep within.
… be a time of forming a character of goodness and kindness.

The Day of Judgement is certainly going to be a glorious one…

In this race here on earth  – like the “Lampadedromia”…
… let us strive earnestly to finish our races, with the lamp still burning (2 Tim 4:7)

Are we running with the Flame still burning…?

Or do we need to do something, in order to make sure, the Torch of Christ remains lit?

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Put aside all anxious thoughts…

… and be at peace!”

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