Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26
Today’s gospel reminds us of the power and importance of reconciliation. In this reading, Jesus reminds everyone of the commandment “You shall not kill”; and “Whoever kills will be liable to judgement.” And just when we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves, that we’ve got nothing to worry about, we’re faced with the next part – “Whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement.” Ouch. That one hits a little closer to home.
How many of us hang on to anger? Do you ever dwell on things like when another driver cuts you off in traffic, a co-worker takes credit for your accomplishment, someone was mean to our child, or a family member says something hurtful? As humans we are offended easily by small infractions, but sometimes injustices are more serious with lasting damages. In this passage, Jesus doesn’t mention any exceptions. He instructs us that before we come to Him at the altar, we must forgive.
Why is this important? Because to be a Christian is to be Christ-like, which means to forgive. On the cross, Jesus asked His Father to forgive those who crucified him. Surely if He can do that, we can forgive as well. When we worship and truly want to praise God, we must shed our anger, frustrations, and negative thoughts and come to Him openly and freely.
We all know anger eats at our spirit and makes us bitter. But letting go of the injustices can be difficult. In order to fill our homes with joy and the pure goodness of Christ, we must be Christ-like and be full of love and forgiveness.
How can I show my children the importance and power of forgiveness?
Dear God, please help me to truly forgive that person who hurt me. Help me to be able to let go of the anger and instead focus on You and Your abundant love and grace.
Copyright 2018 Leslea Wahl
Leslea Wahl is an award-winning author of Catholic young adult fiction. She hopes to encourage teens to grow in their faith through her fun, adventurous mysteries. Please visit her website at www.LesleaWahl.com or browse the wide variety of teen fiction available at www.CatholicTeenBooks.com.
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