To carry others' burdens

5th Sunday of Lent
Cycle C

Have our hearts become numb to the needs and feelings of others? Do we hold grudges against others and not want to let go through forgiveness?

When I was a child, there was once a very old, poor woman who had been pestering my mother to buy mangoes. I said, "If we always buy from her, we'll lose all our money. And besides, I feel that she's abusing your goodness."

My mother just smiled at me, not minding my foolish accusations. she continued to buy mangoes from the old mendicant.

One time, my mother was not at home when the old lady came. With arrogance in my heart, I told her,"She's not in." She pleaded for me to get the mangoes because my mother would buy them anyway. But I refused and remained uncompromising. She gave in and what she did afterwards is something I will not forget for the rest of my life.

With her bag still full of fresh mangoes, the old, thin, frail lady lifted them all up and placed them on her head. I asked her,"Where are you going?" She said, "I still have a long way to go. I have to sell all these mangoes." With that she left and I cried.

I understood why my mother had to buy mangoes from her. Not because she wanted those mangoes for us to eat. Rather, it was to help the old lady up in carrying her burdens.

This lenten season, learn from the ways of the Lord in forgiving the adulterous woman. Learn also when the Lord has to forgive somebody like you and me.

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