The Lord favored our ancestors, recalling the sacred covenant, the pledge to our ancestor Abraham, to free us from our enemies, so we might worship without fear and be holy and just all our days.
When I read this part of the Benedictus I asked myself the question 'Who are my enemies?', I created a mental list (one that I'm not particularly proud of) and began to attempt to pray God's blessings onto these peoples lives.
Then my mind did some gymnastics and the question came out as 'Who would consider me an enemy?' In some cases the names were the same, but mostly this time I produced a list of categories, groups of people that I prejudged because I imagined they were prejudging me.
The first question led me to prayer, the second one led me to get angry about things that a) may never happen and b) I have no control over.
I think that's why I need to 'recall the sacred covenant', it pulls me out of myself and the crazy corners of my mind that I am tempted to wander into. More than that, remembering how God was with me in the past helps me trust that God will be present with me now.
Jesus said, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift."
When I think of the people who I need to reconcile with, the enemies I need to love, the Persecutors that I need to pray for, it can be overwhelming...so most of the time I don't think about it, and because I don't think about, I forget to reconcile, I forget to love and I forget to pray.
The Benedictus tells us that it is when we are free of our enemies that we can worship without fear and be holy and just. Jesus says that reconciliation comes before worship.
How can you 'remember the sacred covenant?
Who are your enemies?
Who would consider you an enemy?
Where do you need to offer reconciliation?