TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR OF MATTHEW
17th September 2017
Mercy and forgiveness are at the heart of God; they are God’s middle names, so to speak. Jesus lived out that divine identity on earth. And his followers were most closely identified by these characteristics too. “Blessed are the merciful,” says the Lord, “for they shall obtain mercy.” Mercy from whom? Most certainly from God. But from others? It would be lovely to think that if we show mercy to others, that mercy would always be reciprocated. But tragically that is happening less and less in our world. Instead of being the healers and peacemakers, the merciful are regarded as the wimps of the world, weak and despised, like the Son of God.
Why? Because forgiveness demolishes strongholds, removes the defences of fear and renders powerless the instinct for retaliation. The cycle of tit-for-tat violence is broken, and in that instant the violent are confronted with the terror of their vulnerability. They cannot trust that their “enemies” will not take advantage of their exposure.
We are taught to pray: “Forgive us our trespasses in the same measure as we forgive others”. Pray this prayer with caution – there’s a condition attached. We are giving God permission to forgive us only to the extent we are prepared to forgive others: not just seven times but every time we are wronged. Today’s parable of the unforgiving debtor teaches us that if we have never grasped the breath-taking magnanimity of God’s forgiveness of us, supremely in Jesus, then we will never have hearts open and wide enough to see others as he does. When we are deeply hurt, forgiveness can be a long and difficult journey. But it is worth it. It is the only way to freedom. It is the way Jesus has already undertaken for the world.
Use this website to learn a little about John Glynn and his recordings and to obtain his recordings
and his songbook.. 10% of every CD and Songbook sold goes to CAFOD. So far, we have donated
£4,672.35 to CAFOD.
CAFOD is the official overseas aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and is
part of the Caritas International Federation. Registered Charity No. 285766
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