Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Friday of 1st Week of Lent – Ez 18:21-28; Ps 129; Matthew 5:20-26

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive? Ps 129:3

Lent is an opportunity to put our lives in better order. Our relationships with God, our neighbour and ourselves. I once read a suggestion that as part of Lent’s resolutions, I should pray one decade of the Rosary every day for a person I didn’t like. A good one, hey? Or to reconcile with someone with whom I have been in conflict for a long time. Resolutions are even more difficult when they concern the people who rejected me or hurt me painfully. And that’s often those who are closest.

It is not easy to forgive others’ wrongdoing or to apologise for one’s own wrongdoing. What’s the problem? Each of us has our own sense of justice, and so we strive to be the one who’s right. We don’t want to live with the awareness of failure. And giving in could mean our weakness. And so, the conflicts go on endlessly. Sometimes we don’t even remember why. It’s pride that suggests such solutions. However, it may happen that someone rejects the hand offered for reconciliation, then there is always prayer and the desire for reconciliation.

Today, Jesus draws attention in quite strong words to the wrong attitude towards one’s neighbour. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive someone. Maybe it will even be impossible for some time. However, whether I get angry at someone, insult them, or try to silence my anger is up to my will. Jesus encourages reconciliation. Otherwise, my gift, which I want to express in my love for God, may turn out to be insincere. Jesus warns me against this kind of hypocrisy. What to do when forgiveness is too difficult or impossible? Perhaps your powerlessness can be a sacrifice? Admit your weakness to God? Ask Him to heal your relationship?