Thursday, March 14, 2019
FRIDAY, 1st Week of Lent
March 15, 2019 – FRIDAY, 1st Week of Lent
Ez 18: 21 – 28 / Mt 5: 20 – 26
From the 1st Reading: Ez 18: 25 – 28
But you say: Yahweh's way is not just! Why, Israel! Is my position wrong? Is it not rather than yours is wrong? If the righteous man dies after turning from his righteous deeds and sinning, he dies because of his sins. And if the wicked man does what is good and right, after turning from the sins he committed, he will save his life. He will live and not die, because he has opened his eyes and turned from the sins he had committed.
Gospel Reading: Mt 5: 20 – 26
Jesus said to the crowds, "I tell you, then, that if you are not righteous in a much broader way than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
"You have heard that it was said to our people in the past: Do not commit murder; anyone who does kill will have to face trial. But now I tell you: whoever gets angry with a brother or sister deserves to be thrown into the fire of hell. So, if you are about to offer your gift at the altar and remember that a brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with him, and then come back and offer your gift to God.
"Don't forget this: be reconciled with your opponent quickly when you are together on the way to court. Otherwise he will turn you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, who will put you in jail. There you will stay, until you have paid the last penny."
In the Gospel reading, Jesus instructs us on our dealings with one another, with those against us. Even friends have disagreements: it has been said it may take time, even years, to build a bond among people; in seconds, the bond can be destroyed.
We have to be very careful in our words and actions with other people. Impatience and anger can make us do things we would regret later: cursing and bad impolite language can cause collateral damage for relationships.
We need to speak truthfully, perhaps softly but firmly. We cannot allow our bad temper or hot emotions to get the better of us and ruin close relationships and friendships. Let us always pray for the grace of a more peaceful and patient demeanor.
Dear Lord, when our tempers flare, please help us to calm down. Let us be more conscious that we all live in glass houses. Harmful statements become rocks that break our windows and the windows of others. May our words be always filled with healing and hope. Help us to let go of hate and bring in more of love.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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