Ezekiel 18:21-28; Matthew 5:20-26
I’m always a little taken aback when I read scripture readings like today…. The reading from Ezekiel seems so harsh and scary and yet the message is clear, “do what is right and just.” I am reminded of my need to pay attention to what God has told us and not to confuse civil law with God’s law(s). I thought about the death penalty when reading Ezekiel and how imposing this civil law defies God’s call for allowing people, who have committed grave acts of violence, to come to accept responsibility for their actions; to ask for forgiveness and then to choose to live according to God’s laws.
While reading the Responsorial Psalm and the Gospel I thought, “most people in my daily life are pretty good people.” The Psalm made me begin to reflect upon how easily we can become complacent in our daily living, believing, “I’m a pretty good person,” so I’ll just continue on with my life. We become less critical about our shortcomings, or what we might consider minor infractions against others. Our opportunities to grow in understanding how God is asking us to live our lives is easily forgotten.
As we experience Lent, I am grateful to able to meet with a group of good people and discover how I can move to a new level, of understanding my short comings and working to improve how I respond to the message of forgiveness; striving to answer more fully the calling, to live according to the teachings of Jesus, our God.
By Marcia Cusic