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Newsletter for the 24th Sunday in ordinary Time Year A

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Forgiving For Our Sake

A married couple was going through a rough time. In the process, they both said and did things that hurt one another deeply.  But with patience and commitment, they worked things out, and began moving forward together.  But not completely.  One day the wife complained, “Why is it that you keep bringing up my past mistakes?  I thought that you had forgiven and forgotten.”  “I have forgiven and forgotten,” said the husband, “but I don’t want you to forget that I have forgiven and forgotten.”


When someone hurts us, it is very difficult to forgive and to forget.  This is what makes today’s gospel so challenging.  Jesus is relentless in his insistence that we do not forgive people once, or seven times, but seventy times seven times.  And what are we to make of that strange violent verse that ends the gospel, where Jesus assures us that our heavenly Father will hand us over to the torturers unless we forgive our brothers and our sisters from our hearts?  What is that about?  Whatever happened to a compassionate and understanding God? (Fr. George Smiga)



This is the fundamental meaning of the word ‘for-give’. It means to give and to keep giving, to for-give. If you hurt me and I say it doesn’t matter, but I withdraw my love from you, you know you are not forgiven. If I hurt you and you keep on loving me, I am not automatically forgiven. Certainly not if I abuse your love or take you for granted and keep on hurting you. But you are giving me the chance to be healed. Your giving of yourself to me offers me the key out of the prison that my sin has created. When this offer of forgiveness is without conditions and without reserve it is a tremendous gift of love. Hopefully I will respond, repent of my behaviour and we will experience a deep reconciliation and peace – fruits of renewed love. (Fr. Michael Fallon, MSC)


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