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Grant, O Lord, that as your Son Jesus Christ prayed for his enemies on the cross, so we may have grace to forgive those who wrongfully or scornfully use us, that we ourselves may be able to receive your forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Look  at this image of a scene along the Camino de Santiago in Spain.  What do you notice at first?  Now take a closer look and appreciate the refreshments that await the tired, hungry, thirsty pilgrim along the hot, dusty trail.  Imagine how you feel as you come upon this, completely unexpectedly.  And discover that anything you want is yours.  Payment not expected.

Reflect. Today’s Collect recalls Jesus as he forgave those who tortured him and brought him to death.  And asks that the Divine One grant us grace to forgive those who have hurt us.  Consider that forgiveness is a free gift, a byproduct of God’s grace to us. And that when we forgive another, we are able to understand the meaning of forgiveness, and thereby are able to receive it ourselves.  Consider who in your life needs to be forgiven, or who you would ask to forgive you.

Act.  Today accept the free gift of forgiveness.  It can be difficult, especially if we make it so for ourselves.  Yet if we open our hearts to receive God’s loving grace, it is possible.  Not easy, but possible.  Pray that today you may forgive that person, or that you may be forgiven.  How will you go about it?

Thanks for taking part in New and Contrite Hearts. Your comments are very welcome—let others know what you saw and experienced. Until next time, may you have a most blessed Lent.

Music: “Ambient Sonata”  /Album:  Ambient Sonata  /Artist: Dee Yan-Key

Image:   “Refreshments ”   /Place: The Camino /Photographer: Jon Shematek