Bottom line: No relationship can last without forgiveness. We are beginning a great adventure together
It's good to be back home. In Peru we had a wonderful Vacation Bible School - and then I had some days to enjoy the Peruvian summer. I'm looking forward to taking a delegation to the Mary Bloom Center at the end of June.
Before I left for Peru, I gave a homily series on Discovering Life's Purpose. That's the key task for a young person. For sure it's important to develop some skill or profession. But your purpose is much more than simply finding a job. No, God has created you for some specific vocation. "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you and called you. As we saw that call most commonly involves matrimony, to found a family. Alternately, it could involve spiritual marriage - the priesthood or religious life. And for some it means single life consecrated to service of others.
Today I begin a new homily series. It focuses on something essential if you are going to discover - and live - life's purpose. We find it in today's Gospel: "Forgive and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37. Here's the whole verse: "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven."
When I was in Peru, we used that verse for our Vacation Bible School. By the end of the week, the children could recite by heart.
I want this verse to enter you heart. We unfortunately live in a culture that is not only losing the ability to forgive, we are actually losing the desire to forgive. Last August when Afghan terrorists killed 13 U.S. soldiers and 170 civilians, President Biden said, "We will never forget." Then he added, "We will never forgive." Now, I know the president was trying to strongly express justified moral outrage. Still, as a Christian we cannot coherently say, "I will never forgive." After all, Jesus taught us to pray, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
Jesus does not say, "Forgive unless the other person has done has done something really bad." No, he says, "Forgive and you will be forgiven." This is Jesus' hardest teaching. Forgiveness has many dimensions. We will explore it more next Sunday and during the upcoming season of Lent. We'll start with an alternative translation of the Lord's Prayer: "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."
For this Sunday we have the blessing of those with anniversary of matrimony during February. Someone has said that marriage is the the union of two great forgivers. Truth is no relationship can last without forgiveness. We are beginning a great adventure together as we explore Jesus' words: "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven."
From Archives (Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C):
From Archives (Homilies for Seventh Sunday, Year C):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Summer - Kings and Prophets*
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron
Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru