Praying for someone with “anything against us”

40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the First Week of Lent, 11 March 2022
Ezekiel 18:21-28   <'[[[[>< + ><]]]]'>   Matthew 5:20-26
Photo by author, Chapel of the Holy Family, Sacred Heart Novitiate, 2017.
You, O God,
are indeed so good and loving!  
How true is our Responsorial Psalm 
as we close Lent’s first week, 
“If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, 
who can stand?” because nothing 
can be hidden from you; 
yet, so many times you pretend like 
a dumb - “nagtatanga- tangahan" po kayo - 
as if not knowing our sins and evil 
just because you love us like when 
Jesus said in the gospel, 
“if you bring your gift to the altar, 
and there recall that your brother 
has anything against you, 
leave your gift there at the altar, 
go first and be reconciled with your brother, 
and then come and offer your gift (Mt.5:23-24).”
When does 
a “brother has anything against us?”, Lord?
If you mean, dear Jesus,
that a brother/sister has something 
against us because of his/her wrongdoing, 
then we could never be able 
to offer anything at all to you
because we all have something 
against each other!  
But here, it is very clear, 
“a brother has anything against you” 
because we have done something wrong 
against somebody; the burden is on us 
that is why we are obliged, 
even ought to be 
“reconciled with him first then offer our gift” 
because we’re the guilty one.  
Forgive us, Jesus,
for always pretending to be 
the offended or aggrieved ones
when in fact, we are the offender,
the sinner who had done wrong 
to another that is why he/she
has anything against us".
We pray for those who have something
against us because of our own making,
of our own provocations; let us be real
with you, O God, to change our ways
beginning this Lent as you assure us
through Prophet Ezekiel, 
“When someone virtuous 
turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, 
and dies, it is because of the iniquity 
he committed that he must die.  
But if the wicked, turning from wickedness 
he has committed, does what is right and just, 
he shall preserve his life; 
since he has turned away from all the sins 
that he committed, he shall surely live, 
he shall not die (18:26-28).”
Amen. 

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