Who is there like You,
the God who removes guilt and pardons sins…
Day 18: Saturday of the Second Week of Lent – Micah 7:18
Who is there like You, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of His inheritance…?
Today’s Lenten Reflection
The familiar scene of the Prodigal Son leads us to imagine ourselves in each of these roles — rogue son, loyal son, forgiving father. Not one of those three roles is easy. To beg for forgiveness after a series of bad decisions, to feel overlooked and unappreciated, to have to forgive something (and someone) that has devastated you. At various times in our lives, we will be called to play each one of these characters. While it can be painful, we can take heart in the words of Micah from today’s first reading: “You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins” (Mic. 7:19). If you’ve ever looked out at the ocean from the shore or from a ship, you can feel the magnitude of this kind of love. Imagine all that you have done wrong or regret disappearing forever from your mind into the dark waters of the deepest sea, never to resurface in your own heart or that of another’s. This is the love of the father in the Prodigal Son, the love of our Father in Heaven, the love we are called to offer to those who have hurt us. How deep is your love?
Day 18 Lenten Meditation
So often our inability to forgive others is tied to our inability to forgive ourselves. We hurt someone we love and then cling to the guilt as if carrying it with us will somehow make it better. The truth is, unforgiveness of any kind — whether of another person or of ourselves — only holds God’s forgiveness (and blessings!) from us. Unfortunately, many believe that withholding forgiveness from another person will affect them as much as it has affected themself. In reality however, the other party just moves on leaving the unforgiver to carry the burden alone. Ask yourself, is there anything you need to let go of today? A sin for which you are sorry or something someone has done to you? Whatever it is, tell God that you trust Him with it and then let it go once and for all. Imagine in your minds-eye a vast ocean in front of you and watch it slowly disappear into the depths. With God’s love and strength, you will be able to forgive yourself and anyone else. And in so doing, you will finally be free at last.
Forgiving Father, we do not deserve the depths of Your mercy, but we are so grateful for it. Help us to receive Your forgiveness in full and to extend that same mercy towards those who have hurt us. May we always be led by Your Spirit to always do what is right and what is Your will. Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
*Pray for someone today who needs forgiveness
“Love God, serve God; everything is in that” –Saint Clare of Assisi.