Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26
Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle
Attending and participating at Mass is a privilege. We come to offer the gift of ourselves to the Father as we unite ourselves to Jesus and His One Great Sacrifice. How much God loves us to give us that opportunity: to go with Our Savior before the Father, and offer ourselves as a gift, in thanksgiving for all God has given us. It is like a marriage of our lives to His.
Today’s gospel reminds us there is a stipulation. We are not to offer our gift at the altar, until we are reconciled with our brother. Why is this important? This anger that we harbor, this bitterness and jealousy within our hearts, has tainted our gift. It’s like showing up to the wedding without showering and shabbily dressed. To make our souls more beautiful by the grace of the sacrament of reconciliation pleases God and allows our union with Him to be deeper and more fulfilling. We are putting on the wedding garments. St. Barnabas, who spent so much time preaching with St. Paul, must have understood this need to be reconciled with our brothers. He most certainly met with confrontation and argument as the work to share the Good News with the Gentiles unfolded. Today, in confession we are reconciled to our earthly brothers and sisters through our Heavenly Brother, Christ Jesus, as we bring our struggles to His Mercy.
Do I think about the state of my heart as I enter into the Holy Mass? Am I willing to spend time before Mass examining my readiness to be one with my Bridegroom?
Lord, I thank you for the great gift of union with You at Holy Mass. I want to be a beautiful bride for you. Help me to remember to be reconciled with you and with my brother before I come to you. I want my gift to be pure! St. Barnabas, pray for us!
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Cynthia Ann Costello