Tuesday of the 3rd week of Lent
Theme: The mercy of God
In our 1st reading today from the prophet Daniel, we see the prayer of supplication of Azariah to God for the people of Israel. He acknowledged the fact that they have greatly sinned against God, and he is begging for the mercy of God. A very important point that we need to take home in Azariah’s prayer, is the fact that he did not make excuses for their failings, but rather accepted their mistake and then beg for the mercy of God. In his prayer we see remorse, humility and the desire to change for the better. God will never neglect such a person or prayer that is presented with a sincere heart. We see that in his relationship with the people of Israel. As many times as they returned back to him remorsefully, he pardoned them and showed them mercy. However, we must never take the mercy of God fore-granted, or underestimate it. He is a God of mercy, love and compassion; but he is also a God of justice.
Also in the gospel reading, the response of Jesus about how many times we should forgive those who offend us, also points out the fact that we serve a merciful God. We serve a God whose love for us supersedes our human weakness. The admonition of Jesus about forgiveness is something that we really need to reflect on and act on it. This is because from time to time we ask for the mercy and forgiveness of God. Jesus invites us in a very special way today to also extend the same forgiveness to all those who offend us in one way or the other. In this way, the Lord’s Prayer that we pray will be more meaningful and effective in our lives. When we fail to forgive those who have offended us, we may just be condemning ourselves with our own action. Humanly speaking we may see it as a very difficult task, but with God everything is possible; his grace is sufficient for us. The most important thing is that we must have the will to let go and God will take it up from there. May God grant us the grace to forgive all those who have offended us. Peace be with you.