10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Malcolm Davies (No.83)
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill, and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’ (Matthew 5:20-26)
Jesus is speaking here about a particular anger, that is, a desire for revenge or an attitude that simply refuses to forgive. Jesus always brings us back to the human heart. What we decide in our heart – be it good or evil - will eventually find ways of coming to fruition in our life.
Each one of us knows the hurts that are caused by what people can say to us. Jesus refers to insults towards “a brother or sister:” In other words, insulting those closest to us, especially those closest to our heart.
Those closest to us are also the ones most capable of wounding us deeply, and we also are capable of wounding them. God’s very nature as Trinity is a unity of love – three persons in communion, one divine nature. We are made in God’s image, and we are made to live forever in communion with God and with each other. This communion is such that God will not accept our offering if we have consciously wounded the unity with those around us.
We are called to bring particularly difficult relationships to prayer, and draw the strength and grace from God to love and forgive others as God loves and forgives us.
5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.
Next Reflection: Susanne Timpani Sunday 1st March, 2015