Friday of the 1st week of Lent
These are tough words. But their severity only goes to highlight how deeply God wants to see all of his children live together in love and respect and honor. For Jesus, unity is one of the highest of virtues—one of the most important principles of life.
Have you ever been angry? Do you remember when your mother or father was angry? What happened to the rest of the household? It probably brought the whole family down as everyone else became angry and impatient or felt nervous or guilty. If this were the pervasive climate in the home, it is only natural to expect alienation and isolation to flourish.
Being a disciple of Jesus is about being like Jesus, who always made it a point to look past other people’s shortcomings. Jesus looked into their hearts and met them there. And because he saw their hearts—their desires, needs, hurts, dreams, and hopes—he was able to connect with them and bring them to God. His opponents, on the other hand, tended to look only at people’s faults, which did nothing more than create barriers between them and God.
It is vital that we seek unity. We need to forgive. We need to let go of anger. We don’t have to pretend that we weren’t hurt or that the other person wasn’t wrong. We just have to decide to take our hurt to God and to try our best to forgive. God will change our hearts, even if we can’t. St. John of the Cross once said that at the evening of our lives, we will be judged on love. Think how incredible that is. We will not be judged on how much money we gave, how many prayer meetings we attended, how much work we did on the church gardens—but by how much we loved. And that’s something we can all do with God’s help!
meditation: The Word Among Us