Have you ever had a child say to you, “That’s not fair!” We hear a similar refrain coming from the people in today’s first reading from Ezekiel 18. Phrased as a question, it might sound like this: What do mean we have to repent? God then tells them the benefits of repentance.
In our Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus says, “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.” I believe that this idea of reconciliation before worship can be understood in a couple of contexts.
Just as Jesus said, we must repair our human relationships. How many times have you gone up to receive the Eucharist while having a broken relationship with a brother or sister? Thought so. We also understand this in our relationship with God. That’s what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is for. We mustn’t be receiving Communion while our relationship with God is terribly damaged by mortal sin. Let’s fix all of our relationships before we worship again.
Father, you know how hypocritical we can be; offering ourselves for Eucharist while still having broken relationships. Help us to muster the courage to fix our relationships with others, and with you, today. Amen.
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