By Anne Carraux
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope. ~ 1 Peter 1:3-9
I made a mistake about twenty years ago, and I haven’t forgotten it.
I worked as an intern, and our team had lost some key people. We planned a large-scale event, and the pressure and stakes were high. My supervisor carefully watched over my work and the work of several coworkers who were also new to the team.
In a moment of stress and frustration, I clicked send on an email intended for my coworker. It contained my gossipy complaints about our supervisor’s methods to oversee us. Unfortunately, I was extra careless in my imprudence, and the email went to my supervisor herself.
I haven’t forgotten it.
In this day and age, we know about filters. We turn them on and off to look beautiful on social media, and we apply them to our words—speaking differently out loud or in an email to a boss or when texting our friends. The words of the first reading, “When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear. So do one’s faults when one speaks,” seem intended for me this week.
For you see, I look back on this mistake I made 20 years ago in written speech, and I realize I made another hurtful one this week. I hurt someone when I lacked the self-control to wait to speak about a stressful situation.
Pride and imprudence have been long-term companions for me, and while I know the Lord sees me in my fullness as a woman and loves me, I want to show my love differently for Him now. After years of seeking Jesus, I realize how much I have hurt Him. Particularly in those moments from my past or the recent one, when I typed hastily in my frustration. In my prayer, I imagine our Jesus on the cross and His pain to take on these sins which hurt those He loves and His very own self.
I am sorry, Jesus. I vow to begin again.
Maybe like me, you hear the readings today and realize you have focused more on someone else’s mistakes than yourself, “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but not perceive the wooden beam in your own?”
I am so often concerned with the actions of others that I don’t focus enough on my actions and thoughts and how Jesus is actively calling me to a permanent filter—a filter that will unite me in holiness to Him. Oh, how I need this “holiness filter!” I know if I cooperate with it, God can (and will) use it to change my life.
I know that confession and daily prayer with Him will bring this filter into view. I pray that I can become the woman the Lord created, and I vow to begin that new life with Him again today.
Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross for me. Thank You for all the weight You take on for my sins—both the ones I have committed knowing their fullness and the ones I have committed in imprudence. I have hurt You so deeply.
It pains me to consider how much You have suffered on my account.
Jesus, unite to me now and give me strength to be the woman I am called to be by virtue of the Father’s creation. I can be made new, and I want to choose to love You more completely—most especially by loving others with my actions and more careful, Christ-like words.
I pause because I know the journey won’t be easy, but I will be on it with You.
Jesus, I love You, and I choose You. You are the center of my life. Filter my sins so that I may be permanently united to You in holiness. I trust You completely.
Call to Action
Today, in prayer, ask Jesus to help you imagine yourself with a “Holiness Filter.” How would your mornings change? How would you speak differently to those you encounter?
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