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All Issues > Volume 15, Issue 5


<< Sunday, September 12, 1999 >> 24th Sunday Ordinary Time
 
Sirach 27:30—28:7
Romans 14:7-9

View Readings
Psalm 103
Matthew 18:21-35

Similar Reflections
 

THE BEAR-HUG

 
"Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight." —Sirach 27:30
 

Our natural tendency is to give a bear-hug to wrath, anger, and unforgiveness. When we are in a bear hug, we can't hug anyone else. We can't even hold anyone else's hand or touch them. When we are hugging unforgiveness, we can't hug God or even be in touch with Him. Nor can we hug our spouses or children. When we are captured in the bear hug of unforgiveness, we live a godless, loveless life. We are handed "over to the torturers" (Mt 18:34).

Only God can free us from the slavery and suffocation of the bear hug of unforgiveness. The old saying is true: "To err is human; to forgive is divine." Only God can give us the power to forgive. Jesus, Who commands us to forgive seventy times seven (Mt 18:22), is giving to us at this moment the grace to forgive all those who have wronged us in any way. Decide right now to accept His grace. By the power of Jesus, forgive everyone for everything ever done against you. The bear hug is broken. You are free; you can breathe again; you can love again. You can hug God.

 
Prayer: Father, if I am unwilling to forgive, change my heart.
Promise: "While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as His servants." —Rm 14:8
Praise: "We praise You, the Lord God Almighty, Who is and Who was. You have assumed Your great power, You have begun Your reign" (Rv 11:17).
 
(For related teaching, order our leaflets, Unforgiveness is the Cause, 14 Questions on Forgiveness, and Forgiveness and Evangelization, and our book, The Book on Forgiveness.)
 
 
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999
 
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 15, Issue 5
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