Monday of the Second Week in Lent
Lent is a time given to me to recognize I am a sinner, not in some abstract, holy-card way, but in the concrete, the existential. The first reading in today’s Mass presents a vision of the grandeur and holiness of our heavenly Father. It helps me see why I must get rid of my infidelities, wipe away all that prevents me from seeing him watching over me, pardoning me of my sins, drawing me closer to himself.
In the Gospel Christ tells me that The Father will pardon me in the measure that I pardon others. Again: not others in the abstract, but those I rub shoulders with daily. Like love and marriage, horse and carriage, these two aspects of my Christian life are inseparable. As “Old Blue Eyes” used to sing it: “This I tell ya, brother, you can’t have one without the other.” Christ tells this is how it is in regards to forgiveness.
And Christ shows me how. He never condemned anyone. Before judging anyone, he did everything to save him. To condemn anyone is to despair of him. It also means giving up hope that our Father forgives. My own experience denies that’s the case. So it’s back to the first reading to contemplate his grandeur, his love for me and for all.