“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. Matthew 5:21-26
At this age in my life, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the missteps I have taken and the broken relationships that have not been healed. As I watch mt mother at 89, I see that they only thing that she really cares about is that her family gets along and everyone is loving to each other. The older get I realize that too. Being right only lasts for so long, and being the victim is only so glamorous for so long. The ability to forgive and ask forgiveness is a daily act, a daily posture, a holy desire. We can be the best people, we can be law abiding and correct in fashion, attitude and politics, but if we live without daily forgiveness and reconciliation, we are hollow shells.
Jesus was making some very hard truths he wanted his disciples to understand. and he wants us to understand also. Love abides in between us, and love and the spirit can be denied of we are unwilling to be reconciled to God and one another. We are human and we make mistakes. It is our common language, our common practice, and our daily behavior. God supplies us with abundant amounts of compassion ans justice, with love and forgiveness. And like all of the commands that help us live a respectful and kind life, the command to forgive and be forgiven set us on the way of peace and love. It is a daily offering from God and a daily gift we are reluctant to take. Pride gets in our way.
Today I ask God to help me be humble and forgiving, willing to leave everything at the altar and seek our my neighbor. May I be an instrument of peace today. May we accept our frailties and brittle humanity so that God can work through us with love. May we be childlike and humble so the world might know God's love and forgiveness through us.