DO NOT TREAT US ACCORDING TO OUR SINS, LORD
(Monday March 18, 2019)
As we pointed out at the beginning of this Lenten period that the time of Lent is the best moment to ask for forgiveness of sins since our God is indeed merciful, loving and forgiving. This is the time we also pray not only for our own sins but for the sins of others. In the first reading of today, we see prophet Daniel praying, fasting and sitting on ashes just praying God to forgive the sins of His people. In the first part of this reading, he acknowledges the greatness of God, His faithfulness and love to those who keep His commandments! Daniel prayed saying "O Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and have kindness for those who love you and keep your commandments" (Daniel 9:4).
The second part of the reading is Daniel confession of his sins and that of his people. "we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and your ordinances and turned away from them. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. Integrity, Lord, is yours; ours the look of shame we wear today, we, the people of Judah, the citizens of Jerusalem, the whole of Israel, near and far away, in every country to which you have dispersed us because of the treason we have committed against you. To us, Lord, the look of shame belongs, to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord, our God mercy and pardon belong, because we have betrayed him, and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God nor followed the laws he has given us through his servants the prophets" (Dan 9:5-10).
This indeed is a long prayer of confession and pouring of one's heart to God. Daniel today taught us how to humble ourselves before God especially when we are confessing our sins. In the same line of asking for forgiveness, the Psalmist prayed saying " Do not treat us according to our sins, O Lord. Do not hold the guilt of our fathers against us. Let your compassion hasten to meet us; we are left in the depths of distress. O God our Saviour, come to our help. Come for the sake of the glory of your name. O Lord our God, forgive us our sins; rescue us for the sake of your name"
In the gospel, Christ gives us a golden rule. He made it clear whatever means we apply in our relationship with God and with one another will also be used and applied to us. He said "Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back" (Luke 6:36-38).
Therefore, dear brothers and sister let these Lenten readings and admonitions not pass us by but let it be a source of our personal transformation and change of heart.
Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, give me grace to be merciful as my Heavenly Father is merciful and may your love continue to motivate me to love others