- Fr. Howard Thompson
Words and actions can hurt or heal. On a human level, when the result is hurt, we tend to shy away or limit our exposure to the individual, group or structure that caused the pain. The emotional or physical distance is a way of coping with the brokenness. It takes God’s grace to rise above our instinctive response. It takes immense love to pray through these experiences, and spiritual maturity to reconnect and be reconciled. When we compare our natural response to the supernatural love of our God, we see a wonderful reason why He is worthy of all our love and praise. Our sinful ways cause pain to God. But His reaction is so different. He instructs Moses to raise the image of a snake to heal those bitten by snakes (Nm. 21:9). Jesus is ‘lifted up’ (Jn. 8:28) on the cross because of sin, but through it we are reconciled. God does not desire distance but reconciliation.
May we use these remaining days of Lent to acknowledge our need to be reconciled with our Lord and each other. Since prayer moves mountains, let us truly pray for the grace to forgive, to let go and be at peace with others and ourselves. May we lift up the Lord through all our pain, and allow Him to heal and restore us. Lord Jesus, You obediently embraced the cross, the instrument of death, so that through it we may be reconciled to You and have life. May we put to death any hurt or unforgiveness, so that our reconciliation with each other may give You the glory that is Yours. Amen.