Friday of the first week of Lent
The readings for the day can be found here.
All three of the readings for today teach us that the Lord is truly a loving and forgiving being. In Ezekiel the Lord says that the Kingdom of Heaven will be opened to any evil person who repents and changes his/ her ways. This is not by way of a point system, though. For example, one person’s good deed cannot outweigh another’s. With that, a person cannot expect to go to Heaven because he or she has done “enough” good. It indeed is something that is earned; but God decides how and on what terms. This theme of forgiveness and mercy is also focused on in the Psalm with the author begging God to listen and understand that everyone does wrong. Salvation seems hopeless in the Psalm. In the gospel, though, Jesus says that even though everyone does wrong sometime or another, it is through forgiveness that we all will reach salvation.
The Lenten Season is about this idea of repentance and forgiveness. Jesus died in order for every person’s sins to be forgiven. It is not just God that can forgive however. Every person can and should forgive those who have sinned against him/her. In forgiving someone else for his/her wrong doing, we relieve some of the tension and stress that weighs us down every day. As we turn the other cheek to bitterness, others will follow us and forgive us for our wrong doing against them as well. God knows we sin because we have always sinned. The gates of Heaven open to those who recognize their wrongfulness and work to change for the better. Lent is a great time to start reflecting on our actions and change accordingly from now on. Jesus sacrificed himself so our sins are able to be forgiven; now we have to take the next steps in actually earning forgiveness and forgiving others.