HAVE WE ENTERED INTO THE JUBILEE YEAR?
AIM OF THIS YEAR OF GRACE
It is all about renewing our interior life because the root of all evil and good lies deep within our heart.
We are called to reflect, to deepen our faith, to look carefully at our attitude towards others, to suppress traces of injustice, domination and slavery.
It is a year for the renewal of our prayer life, for repentance, for pardon, reconciliation and paying back debts.
NEARLY THREE MONTHS HAVE ELAPSED
What have I done to fulfil some of the demands of the Jubilee? Have I tried to convert myself and make the necessary changes?
Time passes quickly! The year should not pass by without some improvement in our conduct. Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Lent is a golden opportunity to really enter into the Holy Year. What an wonderful adventure is being offered to us! Let us make the most of this time to renounce our selfish inclinations, our human preferences, so that we can accept the penetrating Word of Christ, the unexpected Action of the Holy Spirit and the disturbing Will of the Father!
LET US START WITH RECONCILIATION
- Our world is full of tension, divisions, jealousies, injustices, conflicts and wars!
- Is it so difficult to be reconciled? By looking around us, one would think so. Unfortunately, human relations are tinted by jealous, aggressivity, selfishness, lust for power, contempt of others, exaltation of ourself, of our groups and our nation.
- At a deeper level, there is pride: the perennial sin of wanting to be God still inhabits us, even though we are not fully aware of it: when we have to ask for pardon or pardon another person, something in us resists.
- To be reconciled is to erase the past and let it go.
- To be reconciled, is to rebuild what is broken, to renew bonds, to acknowledge the personality of the other person and not accept that he/she be humiliated. It means to respect and love deeply and not superficially.
- To pardon from the bottom of our heart is the first step. This requires a great deal of humility on our part, but what profound joy we feel when our feelings change and what peace we experience. The Lord has probably been knocking at the door of your heart for years, inviting you to act. Have you resisted?. What a waste of time! Saint Paul says "never let the sun set on your anger or else you will give the devil a foothold". (Eph 4:26).
- Time to stop teasing, being mean, criticising unjustly.
- Time to recognise our faults and be aware of the harm we cause.
- Time to accept others, their differences, values, limitations and personality.
- Time to be friendly and full of goodwill when meeting others.
- Time to shake hands and help each other.
- Love is the basis of reconciliation. A closed heart turned onto oneself is unable to do this. Faults are thick when love is thin. Isn't it true that lovers can find charm in each other faults? Do they stop loving one another? There comes a time when even their qualities can be annoying.
- What is impossible to man is always possible for God. For this miracle of conversion and reconciliation to happen, let us not forget to ask the Lord for help and act quickly.
Have I entered this Jubilee Year?
What have I done in the spirit of the Jubilee?
What good deed have I done since this morning?
In my life, have I made 10 persons happy by being Good News to them?
What about 5?
What about one person?
Is there someone in my life to whom I have not spoken for a long time?
Does the Lord want me to mend this broken relationship?
What will I do for Lent? Pray? Is that enough?
Doesn't reconciliation with God always start with reconciliation between human beings?
Celebrating the Eucharist is not enough according to Jesus who said (Mt., 5:23)
"So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering". And as St Paul says, "without love, I am nothing". I am wasting my time. So the only solution is reconciliation with one another. When will I act?
La revue franciscaine
Mars-avril 2000, Montréal, volume 105, numéro 8
Richer-M Beaubien, OFM
Translated by Hélène Anderson