Forgive not seven times, but seventy-seven times
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Jesus tells us we are to forgive “not seven times, but seventy-seven times” in this weekend’s Gospel. He came to bring fullness of life and forgiveness to his followers. Forgiveness and fullness of life are not received by us if we find ourselves caught up in thoughts of revenge, bitterness, hatred, and resentment. When we feel these things, we confine ourselves in a prison of our own making. A prison that insulates us from the mercy and kindness of our God. The gifts God so overwhelmingly desires to bestow on us. You may have heard this saying, “resentment is like drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die.” As we withhold mercy and compassion from another person, we inflict harm on ourselves. Instead of growing in kindness, we nourish the seeds of anger and hatred within us. We learn this weekend in the Book of Sirach, “wrath and anger are hateful things.” We can slowly become full of our own righteous grief and bitterness. In doing so, we crowd out the love of God. Forgiveness is not easy. Some hurts run so deep that the path to forgiveness is long and hard instead of the work of a moment. In these more difficult times, simply getting on the path toward forgiveness is an effort that requires prayer. Let us pray to God that He stirs the desire for forgiveness in our hearts. St. Paul reminds us that God’s strength is made perfect in our human weakness. God will always help us along the way to forgiveness and guide us to the fullness of life. Join me in thanking God for the young people who will make their First Holy Communion on Sunday. They are very excited to finally receive the Eucharist. I am grateful to their parents, and catechists for the work they did and continue to do to guide these young people on their journey of faith.
Have a blessed week! Fr. Len