15 Sep TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Dear OLPH Family and Friends,
Today is Catechetical Sunday! Our recognition of our catechists may seem simply symbolic but really and truly our catechists are the greatest. We are all, to various degrees, called to be catechists. Parents, in fact, are the primary catechists for their children. As we recognize our catechists for this school year, I hope I can assure them of the prayerful support of our entire parish.
Today’s readings talk a great deal about “forgiveness.” They not only talk about it but insist that we forgive those who have offended us. We all know that this is something easier to talk about than to do. I suspect we all have had the opportunity to forgive and hopefully we have also experienced how powerful it is to be forgiven.
Forgiveness is as valuable to the one forgiving as it is to the one forgiven. The first reading says “Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.” Holding on to anger and refusing to forgive destroys the peace and joy of the one who does not forgive. Often it hurts that person even more than the person they need to forgive. Helping people to see this truth does not make forgiving easy, but it may help people decide to keep trying to forgive more quickly and more often.
The moral of the Gospel parable seems grossly obvious and of course we would never see ourselves as being the ungrateful servant. However, let’s look at it in a different light. It’s how you and I behave every day. Jesus goes to the cross to demonstrate the absolute forgiveness of the entire debt of human history. And we respond by gross irritation at every trifling offense we perceive against us. Someone takes our parking place, gets our order wrong, cuts us off in conversation, and we’re ready to erase them from the book of life. If we begin each day reminding ourselves of how often we have been forgiven, we might be able to do the same. Shakespeare put it quite nicely; Forgiveness is “twice blest.” It blesses the one who forgives and the one who is forgiven.
May God bless, preserve and keep you!