Be reconciled

Home » Lent Reflections » Be reconciled
Be Reconciled

Readings: Ezekiel 18:21-28; Matthew 5:20-26

"Come to terms with your opponent." (Matthew 5:25)

In the early Church becoming a Christian could be a risky affair because of the danger of persecution. So people did not undertake baptism lightly. And committing grave sins, such as apostasy or adultery, was seen as harming the community. Before you could be reconciled to the community you had to come to church for a prolonged period wearing sackcloth and ashes. Then, at the end of Lent, you confessed privately to the bishop and were reconciled and could take part in the Eucharist.

Today Jesus is pointing to the root of sin in the intentions of our hearts. A bitter word can lead to grave sin. How do we deal with it? Not just by going to Mass and praying to God. If you can't talk to your neighbour it will be difficult to talk to God. Jesus gives surprising advice. If you remember someone has a grudge against you, put down your offering, be reconciled and then go to the altar.

We often see sin just as a private affair, but it has a harmful effect on our communities too. So often people nurse grudges towards others in the family or parish community, not thinking that it is their place to try to heal the wound. God gives us the grace to go deeper than the virtue of the Pharisees and to be generous in seeking reconciliation. The health of a Christian community will often depend on the extent to which its members want to be reconciled.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, in a world and a Church often riven with divisions and hostility, give us the grace of reconciliation. Let us reach out to those in our communities who feel resentment, and to work for unity and peace. Amen.

You may also be interested in

Afghanisan
Prayer: Sun 22 Aug 3:58pm

O God, we weep for Afghanistan.We recognize the bravery of those who died to help others be free.We recognize the bravery of those who died, desperate to save themselves in these days.We recognize that bravery has not saved us, and we grieve the lives lost these twenty years. We honour their memory and sacrifice not by losing ourselves in despair, but by remembering that the only way...

Joan Smith - Web
Church News: Mon 09 Aug 2:57pm

We are very pleased to report that Joan Smith, a Senior Executive Officer of HAEBEA and Church Secretary at Ongar United Reformed Church, was Commissioned as an Assembly Accredited Lay Preacher of the URC at a service on Sunday 25th July at St Andrew's Methodist Church, Harlow. The Eastern Synod Lay Preaching Advocate, Mrs Faith Paulding, and Revd Cecil White...

United Worship - Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance - 19 July 2021
Prayer & Worship

UPDATE: Due to the delay in the fourth step of the Governments 'Roadmap' our United Service to mark the lifting of restrictions has been rescheduled for Monday 19 July at 7.30 pm.You are warmly invited to join us either 'in person' or 'via Zoom' for our United Worship.A Service Of Thanksgiving, Remembrance, And Call to FaithFor the Year that we have been...

© 2012 - 2021 Herts and Essex Border Ecumenical Area

Methodist, United Reformed Church and Anglican Churches in Partnership