Deut 26:16-19 / Matthew 5:43-48
People who are searching for a religion to adhere to may ask this question:
How is Christianity different from the rest of the other religions?
Well, of course there are many ways to answer that question.
One answer could be this - Christianity doesn't just teach you to be good; Christianity teaches you to be like God!
That was what Jesus meant when He said: You must be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.
In other words, we must be holy, just as our heavenly Father is holy. We must be like God our Father, no less.
To be like God means to do what Jesus did.
And that is to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.
People might say that that is crazy, but that is what it means to be holy.
So can it be possible to be holy as God is holy?
As the 1st reading puts it, when we declare that God is our only God, then God will also make the declaration that we are His very own people.
God will consecrate us with His love and we will be living images of His holiness in the world.
So is the Lord God our only God? That is the question that we have to answer in the purifying season of Lent.