February 23, 2024, Friday of the 1st Week in Lent-B ST. POLYCARP, BISHOP, MARTYR

Ezekiel 18:21-28

Psalm 130

Matthew 5:20-26

…go first and be reconciled with your brother… Mt. 5:24

Lord, it’s going to enter all our lives at one time or another:  someone will hurt us or someone close to us.  Our responses to injury may be angry words, hateful actions, or destructive thoughts.  You take our anger and resentment against each other very personally.   Forgiveness is a huge part of your teaching.  Today you put reconciliation with others even before our worship and attendance at Mass.  But, Lord, what about the one who lashes out at us and justifies what they have done?  They may not seek or accept our forgiveness because they do not realize their guilt?  Help me to forgive even that one in my heart.  The time may not be right for personal reconciliation, but you will continue to work on all of us.   You will not give up on any of us, even those with great hardness of heart.   You forgave those who nailed you to the cross.  How can I continue to hold on to hurts so much less than that!  Lord, heal my anger and resentment and show me the path to freedom from what separates me from my brother.  St. Polycarp, pray for us.  Amen.