1st Week of Lent, Saturday

In yesterday‘s Gospel we considered the need to make an effort to reconcile and forgive anyone with which we’ve been in enmity. So what about when they don’t want to reconcile? What about if they’re hostile to us, or it might even be dangerous to us if we approach them? There are also faceless, anonymous enemies to our society and to our faith, faces we may never meet in this lifetime, but faces who seek some ruin for something we consider important. Despite our best efforts there are people, wittingly or unwittingly, who see the values reflected by the Gospel as a threat and want to respond with their own, often destructive, agenda.

If we live as Our Lord wishes, all the things Moses promises Israel on behalf of the Lord in the First Reading today will be fulfilled, and people who don’t share that joy will be jealous. Our light will shine, and people in darkness will either seek it out or curse it because it blinds them. We can’t know what’s going on entirely in a soul that’s battling darkness and sin, but we do know that the longer they’re exposed to that light, the greater chance their eyes will adapt to it and start to see by it. That light is charity. Charity toward those we love, charity toward those we’ve wronged, and charity toward those who hate us.

The exaltation, praise, and glory that the Lord promises us in today’s First Reading is due to out charity. Lent may be somberly penitential, but it should also be blindingly charitable. Let’s hold high the beacon of our charity so that everyone can see by its light.

Readings: Deuteronomy 26:16–19; Psalm 119:1–2, 4–5, 7–8; Matthew 5:43–48.  See also 11th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday and 23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday.