Daily Readings Reflection for 3/06/09

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Reflection on the Daily Readings for 3/06/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture for Friday of first week in Lent, March 6, 2009: Ezekiel
18:21-28. Psalm 130:1-2.3-4.4-6.7-8. Lectionary # 229:

God is patient with us and almost begs us to turn to him no matter
how we feel about our souls.  This returning to God is a constant theme
during Lent and today’s reading help us to think about it and return to God
either through prayer, the sacrament of Reconciliation, or just by being
very forgiving of ourselves in our failings agains one another. It is
Ezekiel who puts the situation of each person whether they are now turned
to God or if they are not. There is a message for both.  The just person
needs to continue on that path and keeping facing God.  If a person is not
just but is a sinner then it is time to turn to the Lord.  God plays no
favorites in the question of sin and no sin.  We all have many occasions to
return and now in Lent is the best time.

We can take up Psalm 130, one of the most beautiful of the
penitential psalms and pray that as we think about returning to the Lord.
Together with Psalm 51 we would soon be moved to contrition and even tears
if we pray these psalms well. In Psalm 130 we pray, “If You, Lord, mark
iniquities, Lord, who can stand? But with You is forgiveness that You may
be revered.”   In a film called “The Sixth Sense” a teen-age boy has
unusual sensitivity to what is happening around him and he uses it for
good.  In one scene he is praying Psalm 130 in Latin in a back pew in the
Church he goes to.  His counselor happens to be there behind him listening
to the boy.  The scene reminds us of the beauty of praying the psalms
especially the penitential ones.

The Sermon on the Mount continues to be one of the favorite areas of
Scripture during these first days of Lent.  Today Jesus is giving us more
advice on how to turn again to God and be forgiving people so that we are
forgiven.  One of the most piercing passages in the New Testament is put
before us:”If you bring your gift to the altar and their recall that your
brother (or sister) has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar,
go first to be reonciled with your (sister) or brother, and then come and
offer your gift.”

Turning-points are important both for our daily life and our
spiritual life.  We are offered the opportunity to return to God with all
our heart and beg for mercy and forgiveness.  This will help us to review
our tendencies, our prejudices, our nasty behavior patterns.  They pretty
much remain the same as the years move on, but there is the grace of
returning to the Lord.  God is encouraging us to act now and to be
forgiving of one another. This is one of the best ways to return to God.
Amen.

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