Today we have two key readings regarding our moral behavior. The first reading tells us that we are bound to obey God because he is the lord of our lives. Then, the Gospel tells us that we must act lovingly towards other people because they are God’s children.
Let’s start with the first reading. In saying, “Be holy, for I, the Lord, am holy” this reading invokes a principle basic to the master-servant relationship. That principle obliges the servant to act in accord with the nature of the master.
Since lying and speaking falsely of others would be contrary to God’s nature, we his servants must not deal falsely.
Since robbing or defrauding would go contrary to God’s nature, it would violate our relationship to God for us to disregard anyone’s rights.
Since bearing hatred would go against God’s natural love for all his creatures, we must follow our Lord in loving.
The Gospel then, says whatever neglect we turn upon the least of God’s children, we turn on him. By acting with disregard for God’s beloved children we announce our willingness to be separated from God for eternity.