1st Reading: Ezekiel 18:21-28
Gospel of Matthew 5:20-26 Reflection:
Today’s readings are about repentance and forgiveness. In the first reading from the prophet Ezekiel, God tells us that the wicked man who renounces his sins shall be forgiven. But he also tells us that the good man who takes up a life of sin, even the good he has done shall be forgotten.
In the gospel we are told not to judge and if we are in serious disagreement with anyone we should go and sort it out. Jesus gives us a very practical advice about life and death. He tells us to make peace with our neighbour before we go to court.
What he is really saying is that we should make sure we clean the slate with man before we meet the eternal judge. It is in this lifetime that we should strive to sort things out and have our souls aright before we meet our real judge.
Lent is all about that, putting our affairs in order before we meet God. The affairs of this life should not take precedence over the affairs of the next. Yet in this life we should practice the virtues that we wish to receive in the next life—love patience tolerance and most of all, forgiveness.
When we take up the habit of doing these then we are on the right path.