Post image for Lent Day 10 – Reconcile

Lent Day 10 – Reconcile

by gary-foote on March 14, 2014

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:23-24

Being created in the image and likeness of God means that we have been created in the image of unity. God, who is a fully united trinity of persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, desires that we too be one. In what has become to be known as the “Prayer of Jesus” in the Gospel of John, Jesus prays “And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” – John 17:22.

 During the season of Lent, are you seeking unity and reconciliation? Often times in our strained relationships with one another we desire to be understood by the person we have a tense relationship with rather than to understand the other person. We can mistakenly approach reconciliation with the idea that we are being a good person because we are willing to engage someone who has hurt us or we have hurt and get things “out in the open,” when in reality we are trying to force that person to accept our view point (correct or not) of what took place to damage the relationship. But this is not the approach that God gives to us.

When the Apostles asked Jesus how it was that they should pray He taught them the “Lord’s Prayer,” which includes, “and forgive us our debts,as we forgive our debtors” – Matthew 6:12. Jesus goes on immediately following the Lord’s Prayer and says to the Apostles, “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” – Matthew 6:14-15.

 It is interesting that Jesus never says, “Help others to understand you so that you can be reconciled.” Yes, understanding is a key component of a healthy relationship, but God calls us first and foremost to forgive, not be vindicated by someone else understanding the wrong they have committed against us, even if it was a 100% their fault. The command is to forgive and to reconcile.

 As we journey this Lent closer to God and further from those things that separate us from God, as we approach the altar this Easter to offer our gifts, who do we need to forgive and be reconciled with before we offer our gifts?


Gary Foote is a Catholic youth speaker, retreat leader, and parish mission presenter.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jenni Sowden March 15, 2014 at 4:48 am

I needed to hear this. Thank you for this reflection on reconciliation and forgiveness.

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