First, be reconciled with your brother

The WORD in Other Words by Fr Alfonso Araceli SVD (Philippines)

Friday Week 1 Lent 
Ezekiel 18,21-28
Matthew 5,20-26

Reconciliation is always a challenge for everyone. The prophet Ezekiel in the first reading reminds us that those who want to be reconciled with God should stand alone before Him asking to be reconciled with Him. In this manner, we are taught how to be humble before the Creator.

Recognizing our faults and failures gives way to reconciliation between us and God.  If the first reading talks about reconciliation between man and God, the Gospel gives us a lesson on reconciliation with others. This time the challenge is reconciliation first with others before coming to the altar of God. 

This is a challenge that is easier said than done. The common experience is that we come to the altar of God first, but we never think of reconciling with others before that. Thus, an often-quoted Filipino   phrase is, “Ipagpapasa Diyos ko na lang” (I leave it up to God) or “Dios na ang bahala sa ‘yo.” 

If we ever think of reconciling with others, we encounter a lot of  obstacles, and the attempts towards reconciliation fizzle out. The gospel is giving us some procedural matters about reconciliation towards an ordered Christian life. This may sound very simple, but its actualization is always a constant struggle for us. 

May we be filled with the grace of God to fulfill this gospel challenge! 

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