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Browsing Reflections Archive

February 23, 2021

Daily Reflection for Tuesday February 23, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!

These readings are for Tuesday of the First Week of Lent.
We encourage you to reflect on them at this link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading:  Isaiah 55:10-11
Responsorial:  Psalm 34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19
Gospel:  Matthew 6:7-15

Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:

It happens to everyone.  We give someone the “perfect” gift – but they don’t appreciate it.  It languishes unused and unloved.  The thought and time put into the giving were largely wasted.  For a gift to be “complete,” it must be both given and received.

So it is with the gifts of God’s grace.  If we see Christ’s presence in the Eucharist as only something that makes us feel good, we don’t appreciate the fullness of the Eucharistic gift, that we become what we receive.  With the grace of God’s love for us, the more experience we have with giving and receiving love, the more we’re able to appreciate and receive God’s love.  God’s gifts are “incomplete” until we understand them and appreciate that we are to share them.  As one writer explained it, “Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.” (George MacDonald) 

In today’s gospel, Jesus talks to his disciples about prayer and gives them the Lord’s Prayer.  He then focuses on forgiveness, saying, “But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

The conditional nature of God’s forgiveness troubled me until I saw forgiveness as a “complete” gift – a gift that must be given and received.  I can’t fully appreciate and receive the gift of God’s forgiveness unless I’ve experienced forgiving others.  It’s not God’s giving that’s conditional; it’s my receiving.  It’s as though God’s gifts of forgiveness for my sins accumulate at the gate to my heart until I’ve forgiven someone who’s sinned against me.  Then I understand!  Then the gate to my heart swings open.  I receive the incredible gifts of God’s forgiveness – gifts now received in the fullest sense of the word.  God’s forgiveness is complete.

During this Lenten Season, we are encouraged to repent and to seek forgiveness.  Is there someone who has offered the gift of forgiveness, forgiveness that I have not accepted as the gift of life – from God? Is there someone to whom I need to offer such forgiveness?

Peace, my friends,
Bill Bradbury


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