Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 17 March

Sebastian, 17, part of a CAFOD supported peacebuilding project in Magdalena Medio, Colombia.

Sebastian is part of a CAFOD supported peacebuilding project in Magdalena Medio, Colombia.

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’

Matthew 18:21

God is merciful towards us, offering forgiveness for all our sins. But God expects us to be merciful and compassionate to others as well.

Like the servant, let off by his master, who should then have forgiven his fellow servant, we are called to treat others as we wish to be treated.

In a world troubled by conflict, this message is even more important. As society becomes more divided and polarised, we must look to the things that unite us rather than divide us.

Breaking the cycle of violence 

This does not mean we all have to agree with one another, that everyone must hold the same opinion. But we should seek to forgive misunderstandings, rather than lash out in pain and hurt. Otherwise the cycle of violence continues.

Holding other people down or at a distance does not help us to feel better. It does not free us from our pain or our misery. Rather, like the servant in Jesus’ parable, it can imprison us in our guilt.

So instead of blaming others for the situation in which we all find ourselves, we could try to work together to find solutions. “For peace is not simply the absence of warfare, based on a precarious balance of power; it is fashioned by efforts directed day after day…” (Pope Saint Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 76).

In this way, we hope and pray that we may all be peacemakers, building a world filled with God’s mercy and love.

Lent prayer

Forgiving God, lead me to forgive others. Guide us all with your love so that together we may build a more peaceful and just world. Amen.


Find out about Hands On, a way for your parish to get involved with young people working for peace in Colombia.

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