February 16, 2020: Reflection for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Rod and Connie Determan, Notre Dame Associates
In Sunday’s gospel, Matthew tells us that Jesus directs us not to just follow the Law but to take it to a higher standard. We are told that it is not acceptable to simply meet the visible appearance of the Law, but to follow the Law in our hearts where only God can judge us. We are told that we need to take responsibility for seeking forgiveness of others that we have offended. If we know in our heart that we have offended someone, we are to stop what we are doing and go seek that person out and ask for forgiveness. I appreciate the warning of doing this in a timely manner. Go find that person and make amends before you come before the judge. Or your opponent may hand you over to the Judge and you will be imprisoned for you offence.
I must ask myself if I have offended someone because of a grudge that I cannot let go. Can I go to the person and ask for forgiveness and make amends before it is too late, and I find myself before the Judge? Do I have it within me to take the high road and resolve what God has laid upon my heart? As we move forward toward Lent, this is an excellent time to step up with courage to forgive and ask forgiveness in damaged relationships in my life. As we move through this election season, we continue to see examples of people not courageous enough to forgive and ask for forgiveness. Rather it is pride or a serious lack of respect for their opponent, real solutions will never move forward without forgiveness from both sides.
Lord, as I enter this Lenten season, please give me the desire to respect and listen to those around me with new and different ideas. And when I do offend them, give me the courage to stop what I am doing and go seek forgiveness and mend my offenses. May God always show me the path to the high road.