Humbly submit your will to God today and ask Him for the courage and strength to follow it, consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph. Give your life away for God and others!
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother,
Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.” Mt 5:20-26
Jesus continues to teach us how to be saints at the Sermon on the Mount. So far he has taught us the true way to happiness in the beatitudes, we are called to a special mission/purpose “you are the light of the world”, and we must follow the commandments and show compassion for others. Today, Jesus is leading into forgiveness, the foundation of Christianity. Forgiveness is one of the reasons Jesus came to us, to reconcile us with the Father. ”Go first and be reconciled with your brother” Jesus says, before we even give a gift to God on the altar. This is profound! Jesus is telling us that we need to reconcile our differences in our relationships with others even before we offer a gift on the altar.
Jesus is showing us the power of forgiveness. We know regret, frustration, pride, stubbornness, retaliation, revenge, selfishness, and resentment very well when someone hurts us in our relationships with father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, co-worker, classmate, or stranger. It always hurts more with the people that are closest to us. We have invested more of ourselves in them, put great trust in them and sacrificed for them. Think about how much Jesus invested in you and sacrificed for you.
Why did Jesus teach about reconciliation so highly? We are held prisoner to the person we have hurt or who has hurt us until we do. This causes us extreme emotional stress and uneasiness which influences all aspects of our life. If we cannot reconcile ourselves with each other, how can we expect God to forgive us. That is the beauty of God’s mercy. He loves His creation even if they don’t love Him back, agape love.
Reconciliation is different though. It’s about relationship. We must ask God for it. We must will it. We must repent, change the way we look at life, and ask for His mercy. Reconciliation is powerful and leads to peace and joy. It is the hardest thing to do in relationships. Jesus will teach us later in the Sermon on the Mount that, “if you do not forgive, the heavenly Father will not forgive you.” Mt 6:15
That scares me enough to forgive and work on my relationships more, but God is not trying to scare He is showing us what true love is since He is love straight through.
More importantly, to love more perfectly, we are called to forgive. If we truly care about those near to us that God gave us as gifts in our lives, and we truly love God then we will forgive. Forgiveness is one of the keys to sanctification and reaching heaven through working hard with God’s grace in relationships with the people God put around us. Become a saint!
Today’s challenge: Quite simply, reconcile or be reconciled. Go to confession! Forgive someone or ask for forgiveness.
Don’t forget, forgiveness is for-giving, do it often and experience peace and joy. When we do we are becoming holier and closer to God! It is a very freeing feeling, we become unchained. “If we fail to forgive, we are rejecting our own faith!” -Servant of God, Emil Kapaun
Be a servant, become a saint!