HOMILY OF THE FRIDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF LENT
Ezekiel 18:21-28, Matthew 5:20-26
THEME: HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
QUOTE: “To be at peace with man equals to being at peace with God.”
Living on our past glory is a sort of death. It is important as Christians to engage in regular self examination to know if we’re still living in grace or not, rather than placing hope on what we achieved in the past. A repentant sinner, though he has a questionable past, is better off than a saint who keeps backsliding. The Lord said in the first reading,
“When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die.”
At times, we might think we are spiritually okay, but are unaware that we have fallen from grace. People might see us regularly in church and we could be up-to-date in our religious commitments but we do not check how much we may have failed in our human relationships, this situation makes our worship amount to nothing as the Lord said in the gospel:
“So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison.”
We need a sincere examination of conscience to clearly see where we have failed the Lord. And we mustn’t allow anyone become an obstacle between us and God. To be at peace with man equals to being at peace with God. Jesus admonishes us to make peace with everyone and to censure our utterances. We should honour one another with upright words and actions. Interactions with people ought to show charity in our choice of words lest we mar our relationships with them. There is no right standing with God without a healthy relationship with fellow men.
May the love of Christ which leads to peace with all men, pour into our hearts. Amen.