The Importance of Mercy
Today's scripture: Matthew 5:02-26
As we continue our Lenten journey, we are reminded today, of the importance of mercy. Each Friday in Lent, I am offering you some reflections on growing spiritually through meditations on scripture, and the importance of repentance and forgiveness. Lent is a time of reflection, repentance, and renewal. It is a time to focus on our relationship with God and to make amends for our sins. In Matthew 5:20-26, Jesus teaches us about the importance of mercy and how it is essential to our relationship with God.
In this passage, Jesus teaches that we must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees and scribes. They were known for their strict adherence to the law, but Jesus teaches that true righteousness goes beyond following the law. He teaches that righteousness also includes showing mercy to others.
Jesus explains that if we are angry with our brother, we are in danger of judgment. He goes on to say that if we insult our brother or call him a fool, we are in danger of hellfire. Jesus is emphasizing the importance of controlling our anger and treating others with respect and kindness.
"I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice."
He then instructs us to reconcile with our brother if we have a conflict with him. He says that we should leave our gift at the altar and go and make things right with our brother. Only then should we return to the altar and offer our gift to God.
Jesus is telling us that our relationship with God is not separate from our relationship with others. If we have unresolved conflicts with others, it affects our relationship with God. We cannot fully worship God if we are holding onto anger and bitterness towards others.
In this passage, Jesus is not only teaching us about the importance of mercy but also about the importance of forgiveness. If we want to receive God's forgiveness, we must be willing to forgive others. We cannot expect God to forgive us if we are unwilling to forgive others.
During this Lenten season, let us reflect on our relationships with others. Let us examine our hearts and ask God to help us forgive those who have wronged us. Let us also ask God to help us control our anger and to show mercy to others. As we strive to follow Jesus' teachings, may we be reminded that true righteousness includes not only following the law but also showing mercy to others.
Shalom for a holy Lent,
Prayer: Merciful Father, led us to a place of real reflection on our lives. Show us any way within us that needs your forgiveness, and especially anyone whom we need to forgive. Help us to confess and repent. Give us the strength to make amends wherever possible. Through Christ our Lord we pray. Amen