Fr Ray: The Great Criterion

Updated: Jul 17, 2019

Second Sunday In Lent Year C, Sunday 17 March 2019



In his pastoral letter ‘Gaudete et Exultate’ (Rejoice and be Glad) Pope Francis speaks about the call to holiness for everyone in today’s world.


Paragraph 95—In the 25th chapter of St Matthew's Gospel (vv31-46) Jesus expands on the Beatitudes that calls blessed the merciful. If we seek the holiness pleasing to God’s eyes, this text offers us one clear criterion on which we will be judged.

‘I was hungry and you gave me food,

I was thirsty and you gave me drink,

I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

I was naked and you clothed me,

I was sick and you took care of me,

I was in prison and you visited me.’ (vv35-36)


Paragraph 96 - Holiness then is not about overcoming in mystic rapture. As St John Paul said, 'If we truly start out from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he himself wished to be identified.


Paragraph 98 - If I encounter a per son sleeping outdoor s on a cold night, I can view him or her as an annoyance, an idler, and obstacle in my path, a troubling sight, a problem for politicians to sort out, or even a piece of refuse cluttering a public space. Or I can respond with faith and charity and see in the person a human being with a dignity identical to my own, a creature infinitely loved by the Father, an image of God, a brother or a sister redeemed by Jesus Christ. This is what it is to be a Christian! Can holiness somehow be understood apart from this lively recognition of the dignity of each human being? N.B. We can recall the Good Samaritan reaction upon meeting the man attacked by robbers and left for dead (Lk10:30-37).


On behalf of the Vincentian Community

I wish you all a very Happy St Patrick’s Day


Fr Ray Armstrong CM