Homilies and reflections for Sunday
24A Ordinary Time – Blogs
24A Ordinary Time – Blogs
Fr. Anthony Ligato – DIOCESE OF ALBANY
God has issued a cease and desist order from being unforgiving…We are to forgive infinitely. This call to forgive an Infinite number of times reveals more about God than about ourselves. It is God who has responded to His own cease and desist order, for it is God who forgives us infinitely. It is God who calls us to love as God loves, and to forgive as God forgives. (2017)
Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino – DIOCESE OF ST. PETERSBURG
Sometimes people will say, “I can’t forgive and forget. I can never forget what he or she did to me or to my family.” Forgetting might not be possible. It also might not be the best thing to do. If a man punches you in the face, you should forgive him, but it would be wise to avoid him, or at least wear a hockey mask the next time you see him. Forgetting is not part of the gospel requirement. Forgiveness is. (2020)
Fr. Thomas Hoisington – DIOCESE OF WICHITA
All of us long to find a place where we feel at home, which first and foremost means a place where we know we can experience forgiveness despite our sins. We want a home where our relationships are not defined by, or at risk of termination because of, our sins…. The Church, wherein we share in the Body of Christ, is our truest home both on earth and in Heaven. By right, we should feel most at home there, before its altar, because it is there that we revel in the source of all forgiveness. (2020)
Jamie Waters – AMERICA MAGAZINE
Today’s Gospel is about mercy and forgiveness. Using the parable of the unforgiving slave, Matthew teaches some principles that are relevant today. The parable itself, however, is problematic, even if insights can be gleaned from it. The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king’s relationships with his slaves who owe him money. God is imagined as a royal overlord, and humans are indebted servants….Modern readers can find such parallels offensive and frustrating as a way to reflect on humanity’s relationship to God, especially since the parable is grounded on dehumanization. (2020)
Fr. George Smiga – BUILDING ON THE WORD
All of us carry hurt. 9-11 is a clear example of the way we were hurt as a country in a violent and unjust attack. But, we also carry hurt on a more personal level. It could be the hurt that comes from divorce. It could be the hurt that comes from a friend who betrayed us, from someone at school who made fun of us, from someone who ruined our reputation, or from someone at work who made false charges against us to further their own career. Whatever hurt we carry, Jesus commands us to forgive the person who has hurt us. (2011)
Fr. Austin Fleming – A CONCORD PASTOR COMMENTS
Too often we think that circumstances peculiar to our own situation give us license to hold a grudge and permission to withhold forgiveness on account of the harm that’s been done us? How often do we think we’ve tried hard enough and long enough and should at some point be free to stop trying to be merciful and forgiving?…This is a time for us to look, as we approach the altar, to see what we carry in our arms this morning, to see what we hold tight, to see what we need to let go… (2017)
Father John Kavanaugh, SJ – SUNDAY WEB SITE
When the Lord answers Peter’s question, how often we should forgive, he says, “not seven times but seventy times seven times.” Jesus is not recommending a mathematics of reconciliation. He is using the extreme numbers to suggest the unbridgeable chasm between a forgiving and an unforgiving universe. His parable may be less about the retribution of God than it is about a state of soul so hardened that even a kind and compassionate God could not soften it. (1997)
Fr. Jude Siciliano, O.P. – PREACHER EXCHANGE
We humans don’t seem to have made much progress since Sirach wrote almost 200 years before Christ. The sage, observing his contemporaries, lamented the discord and violence that he saw: vengeance, anger, and a lack of mercy and forgiveness. So, what’s changed since he put down his quill? Judging from last night’s national newscast, nothing. Another police officer killed an African-American man; the political conventions and campaign speeches featured lots of name-calling; a racist march resulted in bottle and stone throwing. Well, you know the rest and no doubt can add to the list. When you read this I doubt there will be any improvement in our national and local attitudes – “out there.” What about in our own families, neighborhoods, and workplaces? (2020)
Father Vincent Hawkswell – B.C. CATHOLIC
“Forgive your neighbour the wrong that is done” – no matter how often it is repeated – “and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray,” we hear in this Sunday’s Readings. “If one has no mercy toward another like oneself, can one then seek pardon for one’s own sins?” No; if we do not forgive our brothers and sisters from our hearts, our heavenly Father will not forgive us.
Father Donald Senior, CP – CHICAGO CATHOLIC
In our own tense times, we watch peaceful protests turn into violent conflicts; road rage litters our highways; and confined to home more than we want, some of us discover how fast we become angry, even at people we love. The readings for this Sunday pointedly remind us of the deepest values of our Christian way of life. There can be “righteous anger,” that is, anger triggered by witnessing innocent people suffering, such as a child starving, families displaced or exploitation of the vulnerable by people in powerful positions, in society and, sadly, in the church as well. The Scriptures note that even God experiences this kind of just anger. But Sirach puts the spotlight on a different, corrosive and vengeful anger that wounds our neighbor. Anger that lacks a sense of mercy and compassion.
Sr. Judith Noone, MM, reflects on this week’s scriptures in light of her mission work in Guatemala during the pandemic.
It seems like a lifetime ago when I was invited by the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns to reflect on one of several possible readings. After reading them over I chose today’s Gospel reading because it spoke so precisely to a problem we were having in our rural neighborhood on the edge of the bustling market town of San Pedro Sacatepéquez in the high valley of the department of San Marcos, Guatemala, close to the Mexican border.
Joannie Watson – INTEGRATED CATHOLIC LIFE
The world is struggling right now. There are plenty of hilarious memes about 2020, but it’s because if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry, right? The pandemic, politics, economy and unemployment, the wounds of a suffering society, family struggles… it’s easy to feel helpless. What is the answer? Perhaps it seems trite to say that Jesus is the answer. But He is.
24A Ordinary Time – Blogs
24A Ordinary Time – Blogs
Lifeissues.net website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.
Forgiveness is not easy, whether one is asking for it or one is giving it. To admit wrongdoing is not easy. We would rather gloss over our sins. Or we deny them and blame somebody else. This dates back to the time of Adam and Eve when upon discovery of his sin, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the snake (Gen. 3:11-13) .
What shall we do? Adopt the Christ mentality. What is it? Jesus’ earlier answer to Peter’s question: “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” In other words, we should forgive as often as the one who offended us repents and asks for our forgiveness.
In the desert, the Israelites fell into the worship of the Egyptian god, Apis, the god of strength and agrarian fertility, or wealth. Apis was popular because most people make power and wealth the center of their lives, and although few people today actually bow before idols of gold, there are very few people who have not made the pursuit of power and wealth their chief purpose in life.
None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master.