Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Reflection by Leslie Lynch
Today's Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26
"[G]o first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Jesus goes beyond the Law in today’s Gospel, beyond outward compliance with the Commandments, to the place that challenges us and makes us squirm.
He goes to our hearts. Do we harbor anger at someone? Or a group of people? It’s easy to say, “Of course not! I am a kind, warm-hearted person, not an angry one!”
But if we dig beneath the surface (often, not very deeply!), we find a person for whom we hold a grudge; a political party or social movement which we despise; or an entire culture or race for which we hold animosity.
We may feel justified in our opinions, and can rationalize our positions with eloquence.
So could the Pharisees and Scribes, who prided themselves on following the Law.
Jesus calls us to so much more. A heart reconciled to our brothers and sisters, who include all those persons, whether an individual in our lives, or those who populate the parties, movements, cultures, and races we disdain.
My son, when confronted with someone acting in a way that violates his values, taught me an important lesson when he said, “They’re just trying to live life the best they know how.”
I’m sure there is a proverb that says the same thing! But his comment stopped me in my judgmental tracks, and helped me see the truth of it.
Can I let go and let God, to borrow a phrase from AA? Can I release my grudge against my neighbor? Pray for them? Go to them and bury the hatchet? Maybe they need me to take the first step – or maybe they’ve been waiting with open arms!
Let us reconcile, then offer our gift with clean hearts.
With whom am I not at peace, and how can I change that relationship?
Holy Spirit, open my eyes to my biases and grudges. Let the ripple effect of my efforts at reconciliation bring peace to the world.
Copyright 2021 Leslie Lynch
Leslie Lynch lives near Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and a rescued feral-turned-sweetheart cat. She’s written three full-length novels: Hijacked, Unholy Bonds, and Opal’s Jubilee; and two novellas: Christmas Hope and Christmas Grace. She is an occasional contributor to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’s newspaper, The Criterion, and holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University. Connect with her at www.leslielynch.com
About the Author
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