From the Word of the Day
Therefore, 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.
(Matthew 5: 23-24)
This time of Lent that we are living is, above all, a time of forgiveness, of reconciliation with everyone. In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us that the offering of worship must have an essential reference to reconciliation with everyone, as is cited in the above passage.
The Liturgy must be lived in fraternal communion. If this has been broken in some way, it must be re-established beforehand. It is not possible to experience true communion of prayer only with God, excluding our sisters and brothers. God and our sisters and brothers are inseparable! Before the one altar of the Lord, only men and women who are reconciled among themselves can find a place. This is a teaching that we must impress firmly in our heart and life, especially in this Lenten season.
The first Christian community accepted this invitation of Jesus to be reconciled with others with a great sense of responsibility, so much so, that the most ancient Patristic document, the Didache, makes clear reference to it as we see in the text cited below. It refers to worship without reconciliation as a profanation.
In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ponder these words of Jesus and make an accurate examination of conscience, seeking to root out of my heart every resentment, rancor, anger in regard to my sisters and brothers.
Jesus, purify my heart!
The Voice of the Didache
Let no one who is fighting with another be united to you until they are not both in peace in order to avoid that your sacrifice be profaned.