Who is there like You,
the God who removes guilt and pardons sins…
Day Sixteen of Lent: Saturday of the Second Week of Lent – Micah 7
Who is there like You, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of His inheritance…? – Mic 7:18
Today’s Lenten Reflection
The familiar scene of the Prodigal Son leads us to reimagine ourselves in each of these roles – rogue son, loyal son, forgiving father – none of which is an easy role to play. One is begging for forgiveness after a series of bad decisions; one feels overlooked and under-appreciated; another is called to forgive something (and someone) that has caused unconscionable hurt and disappointment. During various times in our lives though, we will eventually be called to play each one of these characters. While it can be painful and challenging, we should call to mind the words of Micah from today’s first reading: “You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins” (Mic 7:19).
Out of His great mercy and love, God forgives all of our sins through a repentant heart. But there is a condition. We, too, must forgive others. We cannot expect God to do something for us but then turn around and not forgive others. Similarly, we can not cause harm to others, fall down ourselves, but then expect others to be ideal or perfect. Use this precious time of Lent to not only thank God for His many graces and mercies, but to also look at others through the eyes of Christ; to forgive them, love them and serve them.
Day 16 Lenten Meditation
So often our inability to forgive others is tied to our inability to forgive ourselves. We do something wrong or hurt someone we love and then cling to the guilt. The truth is, unforgiveness of any kind – whether of another person or of ourselves – only withholds God’s forgiveness (and blessings!) from us. Unfortunately, many believe that withholding forgiveness from another person will affect them (the other person) as much as it has affected themselves. But in reality the only person who gets hurt by unforgiveness is the person holding onto it.
Is there anything you have been holding onto lately? Any grudge against another person or even against yourself? Whatever it may be, tell God that you will trust Him with it, leave it at the foot of the Cross, and let it go once and for all. Truly let it go. Forgive the other person, forgive yourself, trust God. With the love and grace of God, you will be able to forgive yourself and anyone else who may have hurt you. Most importantly, in so doing, you will be rightly amended with God and thus finally 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 as well as the grace to extend that same mercy towards others who have treated us poorly. May we always be led by Your Spirit and example to always do what is right and what is in accordance to Your most holy will. It is in Your good and holy Name I pray, amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
Pray for someone today who needs forgiveness. Ask God to forgive you as well.
“Love God, serve God; everything is in that” –Saint Clare of Assisi.