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If you remember, last week we spoke about the importance of seeing beyond the rules of our faith to their full meaning, and their true goal: which is holiness, human perfection, the ability to love in a way that is powerful and transforms the world around us. This truth is continued in today’s readings, as we get at a “rule” that is so essential for making both the old law of Judaism and the New Law of Christ Jesus: love of neighbor.
As we do this, it might be good to start with a simple reminder: You are not the center of the universe. I’m sorry if this comes as a shock to you, but rest assured, it’s gonna be okay. You will make it through this.
Now if that wasn’t shocking to you, perhaps this truth is more so: You are not even the center of yourself, of your own life. The more you make yourself the center, the more you fall apart, and the less yourself you become. You end up just an empty shell.
I’ve talked about identity before, and it ultimately boils down to this: our true center is found in God. If He’s at the center of our lives, we are full. We become what we were made to be.
You discover who you are by discovering whose you are.
The 2nd Vatican Council (1963) described this beautifully when the bishops promulgated the document on the Church in the Modern World entitled Gaudium et Spes. It says in article 22 - In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of humanity truly becomes clear. For Adam, the first man, was a type of him who was to come, Christ the Lord. Christ the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals humanity to itself and brings to light its very high calling.
This is why in our 1st reading today we hear the phrase
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy. And we end with the phrase …I am the Lord. In fact, as the law is given in Leviticus almost every paragraph ends with that phrase …I am the Lord. …I am the Lord. …I am the Lord. It’s as if God is showing us who we are by showing us who He is. And that indeed is what He means to “Be holy because He is Holy” a phrase Jesus also reprises with his conclusion today: So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.
God slowly reveals Himself to us. God slowly reveals ourselves to us.
“Self help” vs. Christian identity à Become a fool so as to become wise.
You discover who you are by discovering whose you are. A life of worship of God, of gazing at Him and His love, is how you discover your true identity.
As you live from this identity, you will be able to help others also discover their true selves. Go and be that light.