"O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers, for having sinned against you. But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!" Dn 9:8-9
The heartfelt confession of Daniel demands our attention because Daniel does not excuse or try to explain away his sins and faults nor the sins of his people. Acknowledging and accepting his guilt and the guilt of the nation, he asks God's pardon, but expects nothing. He knows that if God acts on behalf of his chosen people it will be a totally gratuitous gift, and his confession and honesty are rewarded. While God punishes the people, he also promises to relent so that Jerusalem will be restored to the glory God intended.
The theme of God's justice and mercy is a constant one during Lent. If God, who sees everything, chooses to forgive, so must we. No matter the sin against us, if we are to act like God towards those who hurt and abuse us, we must forgive. This does not mean we must put ourselves in harms's way. Rather, it means we should let go of any harsh judgments we may have made against those who sinned against us and begin again. We may not be able to repair the damage done to us or our families, but we need always to love others as God loves us. Moving on with out lives, despite its sorrows and pain, is essential if the life of the Spirit is to be known in the world.
Today, forgive someone who has sinned against you.
What is most difficult in offering others God's mercy?