Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (5: 20-26) in which Jesus tells his followers to sort out their differences with each other before making an offering at the altar.
In the scriptures, Fr Paul says, Jesus gives six ways in which true righteousness goes beyond what is in the Old Testament and, therefore, goes beyond what the Pharisees and the Scribes lived by. In other words, it is not a matter of slavishly observing every commandment as the Scribes and Pharisees did, but it is a matter of going beyond it and each in a different way.
As we hear Jesus say in the Gospel, if we have animosity towards someone in our lives we are foolish if we think it is more important to offer sacrifice and prayers than it is to go and sort out the problem with our brother or sister, to come to reconciliation in some way with that person. It is reconciliation that Jesus is saying is more important.
Fr Paul says, if you think about our Mass, and the Eucharist we celebrate, that it is why the Sign of Peace is so important for us because we are acknowledging that need to be reconciled with each other prior to receiving the sacrifice of the Eucharist.
With that in mind, and as our Lenten journey continues, Fr Paul asks us to think about ‘Who do I need to be reconciled with this Lent?’