The problem can be, as we see in the Gospel, that we’re not just talking about ‘big’ sins. Even things that seem ‘little’ can take us away from God and his mercy. Sure, we can say, “Oh, I’ve never killed anyone or done anything horrible like that. I’m fine.” But have we ever ‘wished someone dead’? Jesus says that anger toward our brother takes us away from God as well. By spitting on our brother or calling names, we are separating from our family and from God. In condemning our brothers, we are in effect condemning ourselves.
Lent is about giving up more than candy. It’s about giving up our negative attitudes and whatever keeps us from God. It’s about reconciliation. By reconciling with our brothers, we take the first step to reconciling with God and the Church.
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