Renewing the heart
In today’s gospel reading (Mt 5:20-26) taken from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds us that His Way is not an easy way. It is tempting to think that it would be better if our religion were less demanding and easier to practice – and sometimes we even try to make it so.
Although our Lord demands much, He also shows us the Way to fulfil those demands. In the Sermon on the Mount, He points us to where the key to this fulfilment is located: the heart. It is from the heart that our motivation, ideas, and thoughts emanate. So renewing the heart is a key part of the gospel message, hence why He calls us to repentance and belief.
So we must consistently examine our hearts. From this examination we must give thanks to God for His grace in the good virtues we show, and we must confess and ask for forgiveness for the sins we have committed; not only that, but our relationships with others must come from the heart. If we even harbour anger against a brother or sister we must be reconciled. If we are filled with lust towards a brother or sister, then we must confess the sin - it is adultery in our Lord’s eyes. If we harbour anger we must deal with that even if we haven’t expressed it.
It is at the level of the heart that we must work, and perhaps the most important part of that work is confession and thanksgiving. This Lent why not attend confession more often than you would usually and also make a point of regularly thanking God for His goodness and His grace at work in your life?