26 February, Friday — Loving the Unlovable

Friday of the 1st Week of Lent

Ez 18:21-28
Mt 5:20-26

Go first and be reconciled with your brother.

I have always found today’s gospel passage to be one of the hardest biblical passages to live out. Jesus is telling us that unless we reconcile with those whom we have offended or wronged, we continue to live in a state of sin.

Whether it is a long-time foe, a friendship turned sour, colleagues, or in-laws, the reality is we will, at some point, encounter some form of conflict with someone. There is no avoiding it. It is part and parcel of social life. It is also the result of our sinful nature, manifested frequently in our pride, hubris, and unforgiveness.

In all honesty, I have no idea how to resolve this. I myself continue to live in a state of conflict with various people. However, a verse from today’s first reading provides some encouragement:

“If the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed,
    respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest,
    he will certainly live;
   he will not die.

All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on;
he shall live because of the integrity he has practised.”

God will always forgive the repentant. His love extends to those who have chosen to turn back from sin. We all know that the difficulty lies in the doing. But if we are able to, in our hearts at least, seek to forgive and love those whom we’ve previously found unlovable, I am sure that God knows, and He is pleased with this effort, no matter how trivial it may seem.  

(Today’s OXYGEN by Jacob Woo)

Prayer: Lord, we pray for the strength and humility to forgive those who may have hurt us, and to extend our forgiveness to those whom we’ve offended.

Thanksgiving: We are thankful for the chance to forgive and be forgiven, to live a life of grace and forgiveness.

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