Friday 27th February – Friday of the 1st week of Lent
Reflection: Psalm 130: 1-8
RECIPIENTS OF GOD’S MERCY
“He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven”. George Herbert
Christ tells the story of a servant who owed his master a large sum of money but pleaded for mercy and was forgiven his debt. Yet he went on to treat his fellow servant shamefully because the fellow servant had been unable to pay him what he owed him – a very small amount of money compared to what he had been forgiven by his master. Much as we are familiar with this story and the message our Lord was driving home, are we not often guilty of acting like this unmerciful servant?
The Psalmist asks: “If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord who would survive?” (Psalm 130: 3). You and I are recipients of God’s bountiful mercy. It is only our hope and trust in his mercy that enables us to approach Him in confidence. Yet, are you extending this mercy to your brothers and sisters? Who is that person that has angered you so much and you find it difficult to forgive? Who is that person you claim to have forgiven yet cannot speak to politely and lovingly? In today’s gospel reading, Christ calls you to forgive that person if you desire your sacrifice, penance and offerings this season of Lent to be acceptable to Him (Mt 5: 23-24).
Dear friend, look around you – at home, in school, at work, in Church, at play and see those places as fertile grounds to plant the seeds of mercy you have received from God. As you extend your forgiveness to others, your hurts are healed and you open yourself more and more to receive mercy from our loving Father.
PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for your great mercy upon me. Please help me to extend this mercy to those who hurt me. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 524 – What does it mean to say, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”?
Merciful forgiveness—the mercy that we show to others and the mercy that we ourselves seek—is indivisible. If we ourselves are not merciful and do not forgive one another, God’s mercy will not reach our hearts.
HIDE A TREASURE: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 RSV-CE
Today’s Readings: Ezekiel 18: 21-28; Psalm 130: 1-8; Matthew 5: 20-26