Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday of the Third Week
Perhaps one of the most difficult and challenging human (not to mention Christian) actions is to forgive someone who has hurt us deeply. Like the wounds from major surgery that require time and attention, so the wounds inflicted on the heart and spirit take considerable effort to remedy. And sometimes it feels easier just to carry the hurt and cast blame elsewhere for that virus infecting our souls.

Then come Azariah, the psalmist, and Jesus speaking of reconciliation, mercy and forgiveness. Azariah prays on behalf of the Jewish people, acknowledging the individual and collective responsibility for lives lived far from God. He has the nerve to ask for God’s mercy, because he knows his prayer will be heard. The psalmist repeats this theme with confidence, because from experience the writer knows that God is slow to anger, rich in mercy and abundant in forgiveness. Finally, Jesus has the audacity to suggest that one must forgive always, just as God forgives. But we are not God, we say – it’s too difficult, the hurt too deep, and the chasm too broad. Not so. Don’t we say “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us?” As God forgives, so must we forgive without limits, and in so doing our hearts are set free for love. Finally, we don’t forget the harm or wrong, but determine to not let the past dictate how we will live in the present and future.
With humility and love, we thank You, God, for Your mercy and patience with our human condition.  We ask for Your faithful presence in our consciousness as we strive always to offer forgiving and generous hearts to all we encounter.  Amen

Elizabeth Mahoney, M‘01, P’92 and Edward Mahoney, Director of Graduate Theology and Pastoral Ministry Program

First Reading: Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Psalm 25:4bc-5ab, 6-7bc, 8-9
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

1 comment:

Jim said...

I can think of no better, modern day, example of forgiveness than that of Immaculee Ilibagiza. Immaculee's amazing story of survival and faith during the Rwandan genocide and her forgiveness of those who killed her family and friends is truly inspirational. As a result of her experience, Immaculee now shares her story with others around the world. I was blessed to attend her recent retreat in Colorado and she is a very powerful speaker and someone who can change your heart.