- Ignatian Companions
Ignatian Companions on a Spiritual Journey: Weekly Lenten Reflections for FP Parents
Writer: Elaine Clark
Readings: Friday March 15, 2019
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This week’s readings once again remind us that God is always ready to forgive us. In the first reading Ezekiel, the ancient prophet reminds his audience that even if someone has been “wicked”, if he, “... turns away from all the sins he has committed,/if he ... does what is right and just,/he shall surely live ...”. More importantly Ezekiel reminds his followers that God is not a grudge holder. If one has turned away from sin, “None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him”.
In the gospel, Jesus’ builds on this message as he reminds His audience that sin originates in our human struggles with one another and He offers a path to the mercy and forgiveness of God. Unlike the scribes and the Pharisees who may think that an offering at the altar of God is enough to negate sin, Jesus warns that this is not enough. Jesus teaches, “if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother,”. Once again, Jesus pushes us to be authentic.
In earlier Lenten readings we were reminded that our holy works should not be done for show but only to deepen our relationship with God. Today, Jesus reminds us that unless we are reconciled to those around us, we are not doing enough. Although letting go of hurt and being reconciled to those that may have hurt us may be the most challenging thing to do, Jesus is calling us to do just that knowing that God’s love and mercy await us.
Throughout Jesus’ public ministry, He often offers a new approach that His followers find different and radical. For example, in Matthew’s gospel Jesus tells his followers to turn the other cheek and to love one’s enemies.