Friday of the First Week of Lent
Ezekiel 18:21-28, Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, & Matthew 5:20-26
In today's Gospel of Saint Matthew, Jesus speaks to His disciples about holding on to grudges, anger, and hurt, and I suspect hatred, as well. These feelings are ones to which we can all relate. Our emotions are part of being human. These negative emotions are as part of each of us as much as our positive ones—love, gratitude, appreciation, hope, understanding, and faith.
As humans, we experience the spectrum of emotions. Our Lord is speaking to us about our choices in dealing with our negative feelings. We can focus on the feelings that we know are positive. Given the current crisis in Ukraine, I, for one, realize how difficult it is to control our anger, grief, and fear. We can begin with prayers for a peaceful end to war and the senseless loss of life.
We all know what Jesus is asking of us, and it is not a simple task. At these times, it may be helpful to vent privately or to a friend or to sit and write a letter to God, expressing all that you are feeling in your heart. We need to pray for grace, strength, and wisdom when overcome with destructive emotions, knowing we must abhor evil and hold fast to the good.
Question of the Day: Is there someone you are having difficulty forgiving, including yourself?
Prayer: "Set me free from my distress, O Lord. See my lowliness and suffering and take away all my sins." (Cf. Ps 25 (24):17-18)