It is imperative that we not only believe in Christ, but that we live out His words. In the first reading today from Ezekiel 18, we see the truth of this. “But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.”
We all could be closer to God. No matter how holy someone is, there is always a part of their relationship with God that could be better. And we must always work on our relationship with God. But in the grand scheme of things, that is only part of the equation. Jesus makes it very clear that, while our relationship with God is paramount, our relationships with other people are of the utmost importance, too. We see that clearly in today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 5.
“If you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall tht 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.” Here we see how our relationship with God (bringing your gift to the altar) is intrinsically tied to our relationships with other people (be reconciled with your brother). While we must ask forgiveness of God for our offenses, we must also ask forgiveness of our brothers and sisters. Only then will our worship of God be genuine.
Father, forgive us of our sins. Help us to have the humility and love to mend our relationships with others, so that we may offer you true worship. Amen.