Our journey of Lent, the journey to the cross as reported by the apostle Luke, ended last week with Jesus talking about choices we all make. A rich man who is who seemingly made good choices and seemed blessed ends dies and goes to Hades! He must have been wrong, right! He begs for comfort for himself or his family, from the poor man who surprisingly ends up in the bosom of Abraham, paradise. Abraham explains. So as we struggle to reach the good life that doesn’t evaporate like mist, we are surprised who is in the kingdom and who isn’t. It is not about wealth or deeds but about relationship. Today Jesus continues the discussion warning that we all are bound to stumble and make mistakes. We all sin. It is when we cause another to stumble and that we need to beware. It would be better to be drown than to hurt a child who believes! Heavy stuff.
The solution Jesus says is forgiveness. Even if someone says, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me,” seven times in a day, we need to forgive. Ouch. That is hard. Forgiveness is not easy. We can look at our world today, at the wars over old grievances that have been tracked through history and we realize that war is no solution. But we also realize forgiveness is almost impossible.
The disciples respond, “Increase our faith!” Deep wounds need the touch of God to be healed. It is not just denial. It is not kiss and make up. It is not forgive and forget. Forgiveness requires faith in a God we cannot see who promises a resolution and justice we have not yet received. The journey of Lent is a journey into a new way of dealing with evil that is not based on revenge and retribution. It is based on the cross and forgiveness. Lent is a journey of changing how we relate to our God and to life.
During your quiet moments now, ponder if there are any broken relationships in your life that need to be healed, old wounds that are still festering. Ask God to help you forgive and do whatever restitution is possible or necessary. Lighten your load by dealing with any load of guilt you might be carrying. Blessings.