Monday of the Second Week of Lent
(Daniel 9:4b-10; Luke 6:36-38)
A leading oncologist made a serious mistake in surgery. He removed a sliver of tissue from the wrong rib of a patient. When he verified that he committed the error, instead of covering up his mistake, the doctor apologized sincerely to the patient. In turn, the patient did not react in anger but appreciated both the doctor’s candor and contrition. God is even more satisfied with Daniel’s confession in today’s first reading.
“We are shamefaced,” Daniel reiterates. Israel has not been faithful to its covenant with the Lord. Rather the people have sinned intentionally by seeking profit over justice and marrying foreign women with strange gods rather than their own people. Daniel, however, knows that God is merciful to anyone who sincerely expresses contrition.
It is often hard to admit our faults. We prefer to justify our offenses by saying that we really did not mean to do anything wrong. Such a pity! Whereas God is always ready to forgive, the people whom we try to impress by our self-confidence are likely to dismiss us as arrogant when we never apologize from the heart.