On this Friday in Lent, the Lord appropriately calls us to go beyond the minimum and really love others, even those with whom we may have reason to be angry. Certainly we would all be able to understand that we are not permitted to kill anyone, and i hope that it would never seriously enter our minds. But when He tells us that we should not show anger, and that if we do we will be liable to judgment, that is a different story!
Today's Gospel (Matthew 5: 20-26) then relates something even more amazing. The Lord states that, "if you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar,go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift". Notice, He does not say "if you recall that you have anything against your brother", which would seem to be the more logical thing. But the Lord calls us to be the first to love, the first to reach out. And Lent is the perfect time to see how we can do this. Is there someone with whom you are having difficulties? What can you do about it? Has someone done something that is causing you to feel angry? Can you forgive him or her? Is someone angry with you? How can you reach out and try to resolve things?
The Lord did not promise that it would be easy, but He did say that it is the way we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. So, are you willing to go beyond the minimum in order to get to heaven?