FRIDAY, FIRST WEEK OF LENT
Ez 18: 21-28; Ps 130: 1-8; Mt 5: 20-26
REPENT FROM SIN, DO NOT REPEAT IT
The people in the Old Testament believed that not only is one guilty of his / her sins, but also those of their parents and ancestors. If today I am suffering, it is because of my sins and the sins of my parents. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is asked concerning a blind man: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus tells him, ‘your sins are forgiven’. Jesus points rather to the glory of God, rather than the sin of the parents or ancestors. What is your opinion? Did you ever reflect that in my family so and so is sick, suffering or my neighbour who is suffering, due to the sins they have committed and the sins of their parents?
Ezekiel instructs the Israelites, asking them to stop repeating the saying: the parents have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge. This clearly indicates that one is responsible for only his / her sins. Ezekiel also wants to affirm that man can be free from his own sins by repentance. God does not want that the wicked or sinner must suffer and be punished. ‘God’s pleasure is that the wicked should turn from his evil way, and live’ (2 Pet 3:4). God is not a vengeful person, who is waiting for our fall, rather He is merciful, loving and forgiving. He wants us to have life and life in abundance. Indeed, my sins do not allow me to experience the presence of God within me, but God is always within me and loves me. Our God looks for our growth and happiness.
God does not lower the standards required of us: he demands that we keep our grades up. Though God demands much of us, he is also patient with us all the time. We must remember that God is a loving Father who wants to punish us even less than we want to be punished. Let us believe in the merciful love of our God who desires that we all be saved. Let us not be worried about our past sins and remain sad, instead let us envelop ourselves with His love and forgiveness. Let us prepare ourselves and get reconciled with each other and with God, and offer the sacrifice pleasing to God.
Response: If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand
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