Monday, September 18, 2017

24th Sunday Sept. 17Challenge of the day is forgive

This is a real story. As a preparation for my ordination in 2001, I was reflecting and spending time near a river, very close to my home. I had an epiphany moment where I realized I had an unforgiveness in my heart. It was to my superior of my formation program. God was telling me, John, how can you forgive others in the confessional without forgiving your own superior? How can you receive God's forgiveness without forgiving others? That was an aha moment for me. That day I did forgive my superior. Let me tell you, I enjoyed freedom that night and this decision gave me happiness in the future.  
The Gospel that just heard is about parable of two debtors; the first gets pardon from his master for all his huge debts. Shortly afterwards, he run in to someone who owed him a little debt, but he was unable to be merciful.  He failed to share his master's mercy with others. 
As you hear my homily, somebody may be coming to your mind, whom you need to forgive and you have difficulty to forgive. 
Peter asks jesus, how many times I should forgive, Jesus says, infinite time. We can't keep unforgiveness and be Christian. Forgiveness is core of Christian life.
Forgiveness is based on simple logic: If God has forgiven us, we have to forgive others. God has forgiven many of our faults and sins. If we don't forgive, we become prisoners of our own unforgiveness. Cross is the powerful symbol of forgiveness. Today we look at the Cross, how much suffering, hatred Jesus went through but he did  forgive everyone. Looking at the Cross how can possibly keep unforgiveness? 

Jesus teaches us through this parable that by forgiving someone I am assuring God that I am a good person and I am worthy of His forgiveness. 

We are celebrating Mass and the theme of forgiveness is expressed in few places. The first instance of forgiveness is in the General confession of sin which begins the Mass. asking - Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy. 
The second instance where forgiveness shows up is in the Nicene Creed: “We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.”
The third instance of forgiveness in the Mass is during what is called the Words of Institution. Holding the prepared Chalice, the priest repeats the words of Our Lord: “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood,
the Blood of the new and eternal covenant,which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins".
The fourth and final plain instance is in the Our Father prayer: “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Here we it's our turn to forgive others because God has for given our sins in the Mass or in the confession. 

Dear brothers and sisters, forgiveness is central theme of Christian life. We can't be Christians keeping unforgiveness. 
Pope francis speaks about 3 words that we should repeat in our lives. Sorry, excuse me( may I) , and love you. These words will help us constantly live in good relationships. 
Whatever unforgiveness you are holding today in your hearts, forgive and get free. How can we not forgive someone when God has forgiven all our faults? Challenge of the day is to forgive someone. I invite you to the freedom that comes from forgiveness. God bless!

No comments:

Post a Comment