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Browsing Reflections Archive

February 26, 2021

Daily Reflection for Friday February 26, 2021
 
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022621.cfm 

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Ezekiel 18:21-28
Responsorial: Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8
Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26

Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”    (Matthew 5:26)

Jesus calls us to a new level of holiness.  The timing of this reading could not be more perfect than that of the beginning of the Season of Lent. 

If I were a “strict letter of the law” type of person, then today’s Gospel probably would provide me with some tension.  It is one of those moments where living in the Old Testament Law seems more straightforward and practical.  I can hide a lot of sin in using the guidance here of “whoever kills will be liable to judgment.” 

I certainly have not killed anyone in my life and so I could simply excuse myself from further scrutiny.  However, if I move forward into the message Jesus is conveying today, then I find myself a bit more troubled.  Have I ever been angry with my brother (or sister)?  Sadly, I would have to own my very real human nature and respond, yes. 

Before I place my gift to God on the altar, I need to first ensure that I have sought forgiveness from any of my brothers with whom I have been angry or judgmental.  All the good words, deeds and even sacrifices I make during this Lenten season do not hold grace without my first seeking forgiveness. 

Might that need for forgiveness even extend a little further to include myself?  Instead of spiraling in a cycle of guilt and shame, I should take the time to name what has been sin in my life and to seek God’s mercy and help in moving away from those cycles.  Then I can receive the sacrament of reconciliation and let that absolution truly seep into my being and free me from self-blame. God continues to forgive me daily and I suspect He waits to see if I can truly forgive myself and move forward into a new day, free of that shackle.  

Won’t you join me in prayer this Lent, for the ability to be released from all that binds us from truly accepting the release provided by God’s grace?

In Heartfelt Joy,
Lynne Brennan

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