We are now in the heart of our Lenten mission to renew our lives. With the prophet Ezekiel today, we are called to live a more virtuous life and to turn from those things that lead us into temptation and sin. This Friday’s reading hearkens to the words of Ash Wednesday: “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.”
With the psalmist, we gratefully recall that God is always ready to forgive and that the LORD does not “mark our iniquities.” But how are we with others? The real challenge of Christian living is NOT being quick to judge, condemn, to but settle quickly and readily forgive.
Being Christian means sitting down with another person, hearing their story, understanding why they acted the way they did and reconciling. Christ challenges us to be in communion with one another. When people ask, “Why aren’t more people in church these days?” I jokingly mention this gospel passage and noted that many are out reconciling with their brothers and sisters.
We are all guilty of not sharing the gift of our presence with another with whom we have issues. However, to make a true “gift of self,” we must sacrifice, or better, “offer up,” our presence and mend the broken relationships in our lives. When we do not respond to folks, we kill relationships that are not life-giving. We are offering a true “gift of self” to God as a sacrifice of praise.
May we see that by being caring, concerned for the well-being of another, we strengthen relationships. This is true communion, true kingdom building and perhaps a Lenten exercise that will lead to year-long worship in “spirit and truth.”
Let Us Pray:
Forgiving God, may we reconcile with you and one another, knowing that you desire true worship and true communion from me. May my openness to your spirit of virtue assist me in my daily struggle to lovingly accept my brothers and sisters and, therefore, build the body of Christ. May I readily share my gifts with others and go together to the altar of God to build your kingdom of grace and peace. Through Christ, our LORD.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)