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Lent Reflections
 
Monday in Holy Week, March 26, 2018
 
 
Mark 11:12-25
 

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard it.

 

Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, "Is it not written,
'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations?' But you have made it a den of robbers."


And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

 

In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered." Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

 

"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."

 
 
 

Who has, recently or in the past, wronged you, that you need to forgive? While praying, many of us tend to name a list of things we have done wrong for the day, or week, and ask God to forgive us for them. This isn’t wrong, but as this passage points out, there is something we should be doing before we ask God to forgive us of all our sins. We are told to first forgive those we have something against.

 

When there is unforgiveness and bitterness, it causes division. Feelings are hurt, friendships are severed, or even churches split because of unforgiven wrongs. It might start out small and seem to be nothing, but soon it grows into bitterness and anger toward those whom we haven’t forgiven.

 

Make it a part of your daily prayers to think of any person who might have sinned against you and made you angry, sad or hurt, and forgive them. For many of us, this may happen multiple times throughout the day, and we neglect to first forgive others in prayer before we ask to be forgiven ourselves. Take time today to ask God to help you in your journey toward grace and forgiveness with others.

 
 
 
 
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