From the Pastor's Desk
Our readings for this Twenty-Fourth Sunday concern forgiving our offenders and getting reconciled with them. All three readings today remind us of the path to forgiveness, mercy and reconciliation and challenge us to walk this, the only Way to Life.
Sirach, in the first reading, reminds his listeners that if they don’t heal and forgive and show mercy they can’t expect to receive much of that from God in return. It is unwise to nurse grudges and wise to forgive because our life span is very short and our eternal destiny is decided by how we forgive, how we work for reconciliation with those who offend us and how we render humble and loving service to them.
Today’s Psalm, (Ps 103), speaks beautifully about God’s forgiving love. “God is kind and merciful, slow to anger and rich in compassion,” we sing in the Psalm refrain.
In the second reading, Paul reminds us that we have to forgive others because we belong to Christ who taught us by his own example in forgiving those who killed Him how we must forgive in our turn. Since we humans are related as brothers and sisters of Jesus, we are in the family of God, so hatred and bitterness should have no place in our hearts.
In today’s Gospel, through the parable of the two debtors, Jesus teaches us that there should be no limit to our forgiveness and no conditions attached to our reconciliation. We represent the greater debtor in the parable because we commit sins every day and, hence, we need God’s forgiveness every day. But we must forgive in order to be forgiven. Jesus explains, after teaching the prayer Our Father, "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father also will forgive you “
Life messages: 1) We need to forgive, forget and be reconciled: In the light of eternity and considering the shortness of our span of life, harboring old grudges is pointless. The forgiveness that we offer others is the indispensable condition which makes it possible for us to receive God’s forgiveness and to pray meaningfully: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
2) We may never forget the hurt we have experienced, but we can choose to forgive and pray for our offenders. As life goes on and we remember an incident that was hurtful and caused great anger, we need to remind ourselves that, with God’s grace, we have already forgiven the one that hurt us. Time does heal memories. Forgiveness finally changes us from being prisoners of our past to being liberated and at peace with our memories. Forgiveness allows us to move beyond the pain, the resentment, and the anger. When we forgive we make the choice that heals. We can forgive the offender by wishing him God’s blessings and by offering that individual to God by simply saying, “Help so-and-so and me to mend our relationship.” When we withhold forgiveness, we remain the victim. When we offer forgiveness, we are doing it also for our own well being.
This same message of reconciliation was echoed by Our Blessed Mother at La Salette in 1846, Sept. 19 to two children Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat on the mountain of Alps, in a village named La Salette in France. On Tuesday (Sept 19) marks 171 th Anniversary of her apparition at La Salette. The beautiful Lady stood up and said to the Children:
“If my people do not obey, I shall be compelled to loose my Son’s arm. It is so heavy that I can no longer hold it. “How long have I suffered for you! If my Son is not to abandon you, I am obliged to entreat him without ceasing. But you take no heed of that. No matter how well you pray in the future, no matter how well you act, you will never be able to make up what I have endured on your behalf.””….”Pray well my children”…. “Make this Message to known to all my people”.
La Salette Missionaries have been making known this message of God’s forgiveness and his mercy in Christ the King Parish since 2004. We still continue to lead you to God when you come to receive his mercy through confession and other sacraments. Join us on Tuesday (Sept.19) @ 6.P.M for the Mass with all the La Salette Missionaries to celebrate this merciful apparition of our Blessed Mother and thank her for her Prayers. Pot Luck Dinner to follow. All are invited to go to the Parish Hal