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March 10, Akalefu, SJ - Jesuits of North-West Africa Province | Society of Jesus



Friday, First Week of Lent

March 10, 2017


EZ 18:21-28   MT 5:20-26

by *Mr. Alexander Akalefu, SJ.

Dearly beloved in the Lord, the Church invites us during this Lenten season to pause a while and reflect on our lives, our relationship with God and our neighbours.  In the same vein, the readings of today draw our attention to two important themes: repentance and reconciliation, which are parts of the core themes of the Lenten season.

In the first reading, God sets before us life and death, a pathway to salvation and that which leads to damnation.  God sets before us the keys and conditions to our destiny, “if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.”  The ball is in our court; the choice is ours.  We obviously want to be saved; we want to go to heaven; but the question is: are we willing and ready to do what will help us gain salvation? 

  • What is my relationship with God like?
  • What am I holding onto or what is holding me back? 
  • What have I bottled up in my mind that is distracting or hindering my relationship with God?
  • Could it be fornication, unforgiveness, malice, theft, adultery?

Why not let go and let God.  Let go of your sinfulness and let God take over your life.  God is not interested in the death of a sinner but in his/her repentance.  God is interested in your decision to truly let go of your sins now and allowing him to take charge of your life. God does not keep a record or account of our past sins. In awe the psalmist exclaimed “if you o Lord should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?” God is merciful and ready to welcome us back when we let go of our sins. Let us take a cue from the parable of the prodigal son in the gospel of Luke. The prodigal son realised his mistakes, and he didn’t hold on to them. He let go and let his father. Furthermore, Zaccheaus, Matthew and the thief on the cross with Jesus also repented. They let go of their sins and their pasts were forgiven and forgotten.  Jesus visited Zaccheaus in his house; Matthew became an apostle; and the repented thief gained a first class ticket to heaven with Jesus.

God frowns when a righteousness man turns from good to evil. The same condition as above also applies to him/her. His/her past goodness will not be recalled. He/she will die. The message for us, therefore, is that we should endeavour to be consistent and never become complacent with our Christian lives such that we begin to take things for granted. God is always interested in our present state and disposition, hence, let us endeavour to persevere to the end.

In the Gospel Jesus invites us to reconcile with our brothers and sisters. This reconciliation should start with being at peace with our neighbours. It is not enough to be in a good relationship with God as we claim and not have a good relationship with our brothers and sisters. How can one claim to love God and not love one’s neighbour? That is an abuse and contradiction of the word love. How is your relationship with your colleagues at the office, your classmates, and your community members? Your brothers and sisters, your husband, your wife?  If you are not at peace with any of them, or you feel they have something against you, now is the time to make peace. This is the time to reconcile. This is the time to drop your gift at the altar, go and make peace. Go and reconcile. This is the time to let go and let God. Make peace, then come back and offer your gift to God.

As we continue to journey with Jesus during this Lenten season, let us endeavour to follow the footsteps of the Master so that on the day of resurrection, we shall all move from sorrow to joy.  God bless you as you let go and let God.


*Mr. Alexander Akalefu, SJ,  is a Jesuit Scholastic in first studies at Arrupe College Jesuit School of Philosophy and Humanities in Harare, Zimbabwe.

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