Lenten Reflection – 15 March – Friday of the First week of Lent, Year C Gospel: Matthew 5:20–26
Christ, the model of brotherly love
Saint Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
An excerpt from his The Mirror of Love
“The perfection of brotherly love lies in the love of one’s enemies. We can find no greater inspiration for this than grateful remembrance of the wonderful patience of Christ. He who is more fair than all the sons of men, offered his fair face to be spat upon by sinful men, He allowed those eyes that rule the universe, to be blindfolded by wicked men, He bared His back to the scourges, He submitted that head which strikes terror in principalities and powers to the sharpness of the thorns, He gave Himself up to be mocked and reviled and at the end endured the cross, the nails, the lance, the gall, the vinegar, remaining always gentle, meek and full of peace.
In short, He was led like a sheep to the slaughter and like a lamb before the shearers He kept silent and did not open His mouth.”
Renew us and prepare us.
Our lesson today is about reconciliation
Our Lord forgives us all our sins –
nothing can separate us from the love of God for us in Jesus
And we are called to forgive others
with the same compassion, mercy, patience and love given to us.
Our Lenten practices help us to
experience the renewing love of God
and they prepare us for our journey to Easter
to celebrate the mystery of our death to self
and rebirth in the new life Jesus won for us.
I do not wish the sinner to die, says the Lord,
but to turn to me and live.
Creator of my life,
renew me,bring me to new life in You.
Touch me and make me feel whole again.
Help me to see Your love
in the passion, death and resurrection of Your son.
Help me to observe Lent
in a way that allows me to celebrate that love.
Prepare me for these weeks of Lent
as I feel both deep sorrows for my sins
and Your undying love for me.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.