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All Issues > Volume 21, Issue 5

<< Sunday, September 11, 2005 >> 24th Sunday Ordinary Time
Sirach 27:30—28:7
Romans 14:7-9

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Psalm 103
Matthew 18:21-35

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"Then in anger the master handed him over to the torturers until he paid back all that he owed. My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart." —Matthew 18:34-35

If we don't accept the grace to forgive those who have sinned against us:

  • the Lord remembers our sins in detail (see Sir 28:1),
  • we should not expect to be healed by the Lord (Sir 28:3),
  • we will not be forgiven (Sir 28:2, 4-5), and
  • we will be handed over to torturers, such as compulsiveness, fear, depression, self-hatred, anxiety, and other evils (Mt 18:34-35).

Therefore, we must accept the grace to forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ immediately (see Mt 5:25), repeatedly (Mt 18:22), and from the heart (Mt 18:35). This applies not only to those who have stopped sinning against us but also to those continuing to sin against us. This applies even to our enemies.

Obviously, it is humanly impossible to forgive. "To err is human; to forgive is divine" (quoted from Alexander Pope). Our only hope is to turn to the Lord, Who is divine. He always provides the grace to obey His commands. He raises us above our human limitations to empower us to choose to forgive immediately all who have sinned against us. Jesus gives us the privilege to live in the new world of grace and mercy. How awesome it is to share in the miracle and mystery of forgiving! Thank You, Jesus, for Your command that we forgive from the heart 70 x 7 times! Thank You for grace and mercy beyond measure! Alleluia!

Prayer: Father, may I look at forgiving others the way You do.
Promise: "None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master. While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as His servants." —Rm 14:7-8
Praise: Praise Jesus, risen and all-merciful Judge!
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2005 through September 30, 2005.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2005.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 21, Issue 5
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