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? – Micah 7:18
Today’s Lenten Reflection
The familiar scene of the Prodigal Son leads us to reimagine ourselves in each one of these roles – rogue son, loyal son, forgiving father – none of which being an easy role to play. One begs for forgiveness after a series of bad decisions; another feels overlooked and under-appreciated; and another still is called to forgive that which has caused unconscionable hurt and disappointment.
At various times throughout our lives, we will be called to play one of these characters. While painful and challenging, we should call to mind the words of Micah: “You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins” (Micah 7:19). Out of God’s great mercy and love for us, He forgives our sins through repentance … but we must be willing to do the same for others. Think about it: we cannot expect from God what we are unwilling to do for another. To that end, we cannot be imperfect yet expect perfection from someone else.
Use this time of Lent to thank God for the divine grace and mercy working in and through your life. Furthermore, try to see others through the eyes of Christ. We can do this by forgiving, loving, and serving those who have hurt us, even those who have not (yet) asked for forgiveness! In so doing, in your mercy, forgiveness, and willingness to strive for peace, God promises to bless you unconditionally.
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 guilt. The truth is unforgiveness of any kind, whether of another person or of ourselves, withholds God’s forgiveness (and blessings!) from our lives. Unfortunately, many believe that withholding forgiveness from another person will affect the other person as much as it has affected themselves. But in reality, the only person who is hurt by unforgiveness is the person holding onto it.
Is there anything you have been holding onto lately? Any grudge against another person or lingering grudge against yourself? Whatever it may be, tell God you trust Him and leave the problem at the foot of the Cross. Forgive the other person, forgive yourself, and wait for the love of God to heal all your wounds. Through prayer (and by grace), you will be able to forgive yourself and anyone else who has hurt you. Most importantly, in so doing, you will be rightly amended with God and thus finally be set free.
Forgiving Father, we do not deserve the depths of Your mercy but we are eternally grateful for it. Help us to receive Your forgiveness in its fullness as well as the grace to extend that same mercy towards any neighbor who has treated us poorly. May we always be led by Your gentle Spirit and righteous example to always do what is right and in accordance with Your most holy will. It is in Your good and holy Name we pray. Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
Pray for someone who needs forgiveness today. While you are at it, ask God to forgive you for all that you have done wrong to another.
“Love God, serve God; everything is in that” –Saint Clare of Assisi.