Friday, 29 May 2015

Prisoner of unforgiveness


10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Malcolm Davies (No.124)
  
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 11:11-26
After he had been acclaimed by the crowds, Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. He looked all round him, but as it was now late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

Next day as they were leaving Bethany, he felt hungry. Seeing a fig tree in leaf some distance away, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it, but when he came up to it he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. And he addressed the fig tree. ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again’ he said. And his disciples heard him say this.

So they reached Jerusalem and he went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who were selling pigeons. Nor would he allow anyone to carry anything through the Temple. 

And he taught them and said, ‘Does not scripture say: My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples? But you have turned it into a robber's den.’ This came to the ears of the chief priests and the scribes, and they tried to find some way of doing away with him; they were afraid of him because the people were carried away by his teaching. And when evening came he went out of the city.

Next morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered to the roots. Peter remembered. ‘Look, Rabbi,’ he said to Jesus, ‘the fig tree you cursed has withered away.’ Jesus answered, ‘Have faith in God. I tell you solemnly, if anyone says to this mountain, “Get up and throw yourself into the sea,” with no hesitation in his heart but believing that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours. 

And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too. But if you do not forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your failings either.’



If we are honest with ourselves, we will see that we are not perfect and in continual need of the mercy and forgiveness of God in our lives.

We are called to be forgiving of others as God has forgiven us. The need to forgive others can be a challenge if we have been deeply hurt, especially by those close to us. 

However, we will remain imprisoned in unforgiveness unless we can learn to let go of past hurts and grievances and seek the grace of forgiveness from the heart.

Both the giving and receiving of forgiveness are the works of grace in our life and are a major work of God in the re-creation of a broken world. 

We are challenged today to be open to the grace of God in our ongoing conversion on the journey to wholeness and holiness.

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.




Malcolm Davies












Next Reflection: Susanne Timpani Sunday 31st May, 2015