Brian R Corbin's Reflections on Religion and Life

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Lenten reflections from Catholic Charities perspective: March 6

Friday of the First Week in Lent

March 6, 2009

Readings: Ez 18:21-28, Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8, and Mt 5:20-26

Today’s readings remind me of just how human we really are and how difficult it is to walk the path of Jesus on a daily basis even for those of us serving our faith at Catholic Charities. “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.” We think that we are following His ways but are we really?

We may externally (just like the scribes and Pharisees) do all the right things, like going to mass on Sunday, work with the poor and vulnerable, and give money to our favorite charity, and yet harbor resentment to a family member or someone at work because of the way we were treated. I believe the Lord is talking to us in these readings and telling us that the best path to heaven is through forgiveness. As I say the Our Father daily, I am constantly reminded with these words, “please forgive me for my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against me”. Yikes! That can be really hard to do when someone has hurt you or taken advantage of you especially those closest to you.

I realize much of the hurt I felt in my life was largely due to misunderstandings and miscommunications and the inability to communicate and resolve these differences in a timely and positive manner. This can only lead to a heart filled with anger, resentment, and/or holding on to grudges. But if we can forgive ourselves first for our trespasses (we are human after all) knowing that Jesus forgives us, then we should have the courage to forgive others. It would be so sad if we are looking at Jesus in our final hours and he said oops sorry you didn’t forgive your sister and brother so off you go! So today, let’s pray to God that he will help us to forgive all those who have injured us in any way and free us from resentment and bitterness. Only then will we be able to freely serve the Lord and do His work.

I love the Lenten Season as it provides us with the time of self examination and what we can do to improve our relationship with God and with our family, friends, and co-workers. It is a time to forgive and be forgiven. It is a time of sacrifice and a time to celebrate life.

Lisa Sakamoto

Vice President Finance

Catholic Charities Hawaii

Filed under: Personal Reflections

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