The Word of God

The Two-edged Sword Of Guilt


Reflection on Mass Reading for March 20, 2020

“Thus says the LORD: Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt.” When we stop and think about for a while, Lent is consumed with remembering the most important things in life and realizing how at times our guilt and fear can be so paralyzing. That is why we sacrifice (give up) mundane things which we really do not need so that we can focus on the things in this world that we truly need. This is supported by the underlying meaning from our First Reading today: “Straight are the paths of the LORD, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them.”

“But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” Remembering the most important things in life is one of the most important things to do in life. All of what we have experienced and lived must form the fabric of the wisdom and the philosophy of life that we exist and use as we move into the future, which is all in the mind of God who cares and loves us with an everlasting love. During the awesome Season of Lent, we are called and pulled toward memory and freedom. Guilt hurts at first but if it motivates us to change and reform our lives according to Christ, then we will, in fact, remember how it is that we can find our way to Heaven by following the Lord God with every fiber of our being. In turn, we are compelled to pass that on to those we love, especially our children. May we remember the Name of the One who has saved us! “I will heal their defection, says the LORD, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them.”

A man once wrote to his teenage son: “God is the reason why even in pain, I smile, in confusion I understand, in betrayal I trust and in fear I continue to fight.” These are not just words if they are put into practice and lived as best as possible. You and must remember even long after this particular Lenten Season is over, that our children, students, and friends will not follow our advice—they will indeed follow and remember our example. “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

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