The WORD in other words by Sister Frances Grace Solis SSpS — Convent of the Holy Spirit, Quezon City
Friday 1st Week of Lent
Today’s Gospel begins with Jesus telling the people that they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless they surpass the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees. He was well aware that the Pharisees taught that a person attains justice before God when the person observes all the norms of the Law in all its details.
For Jesus, just observing the Law according to the letter of the Law is not the only thing necessary. Jesus emphasized that it is the essence, the spirit of the Law that matters. That’s why he said that it is not enough to avoid murder, but what is most necessary is to uproot from within oneself whatever leads to murder as anger, hatred, the desire for vengeance, exploitation, etc. This entails reconciliation, forgiving the offending party to prevent murder.
Jesus emphasized that worship offered to God, after having been reconciled with the offended party who still has something against him/her, is most pleasing to God.
It is an act of humility to acknowledge one’s sinfulness and need for God’s forgiveness. The self-righteous, the proud ones who pose as if faultless, point the finger at others but never at themselves. A line of a certain song reminds me: “If I Point a Finger at My Neighbor, Three More are Pointing Back at Me…”
May God bless and help us to be honest in answering the following questions:
1. Am I still harboring ill-feelings towards somebody, not forgiving her/him of the offense done to me?
2. Have I made efforts to get reconciled with someone who has offended me or whom I offended?
3. Am I aware that God forgives me as long as I forgive others when I pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?”