Forgive and Be Forgiven

Forgive and Be Forgiven

September 13, 2020 | N W | Deacon Eddie, Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy, Repentance, Self-Reflection

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 13, 2020 – Year A
Readings: Sir 27:30-28:7 / Ps 103 / Rom 14:7-9 / Mt 18:21-35
by Rev. Mr. Eddie Craig, Permanent Deacon

All of us know that learning never stops. We go to school and learn the basics, but we have to constantly keep up. My kids can’t imagine a world without the internet. It shows how the world has progressed in availability.

But just learning isn’t enough. Memorizing information can only get you so far. You have to process that information and actually learn the concepts. This can also happen with our faith. When we are young children, we learn Bible stories and our prayers. Hopefully, we don’t stop there. We don’t just repeat what we have learned but digest the information and internalize it and learn the lessons it is meant to teach.

There is one prayer that I think we don’t consider enough – The Lord’s Prayer. We just don’t think about what we are praying. You could teach a semester-long course on the Lord’s Prayer and only scratch the surface. The Catechism devotes an entire section to this prayer. There is a line in particular that should give us pause. That is “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In other words: forgive me but only inasmuch as I forgive others. When you process that, it’s a heavy thing.

In our gospel today, Jesus expands on that line using a parable. He really wants to make the point that in order to be forgiven, we have to forgive others. That can be hard, especially when we study it further and realize just what we are being told. Listen to the last line of the gospel: “So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Saying you’re sorry is a good thing, but saying it from the heart is hard. I think most of the problems the world has ever known can be traced back to the inability of people to truly forgive. Conflicts arise, disagreements are rampant. In or own country we are reminded of it every four years, when it’s election time.

You may be thinking “This is really hard, this is impossible. How can I possibly forgive from the heart? The saints can do that, but how am I to do that?” If you think it’s impossible, you’re right! It is impossible on our own, but we have a savior, Jesus Christ, who is Lord of the living and the dead. Jesus Christ who died on the cross so we could go to heaven. Jesus Christ who openly shares His grace with us and all we have to do is ask. If we accept that grace and let it grow in our hearts, then one day passages like this may not scare us so bad.

Mass Times