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Sunday, September 17, 2023

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24th Sunday Ordinary Time

Sirach 27:30—28:7
Romans 14:7-9
Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12
Matthew 18:21-35

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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:  Praise Jesus, Love (1 Jn 4:8, 16), Healer, Lord, Resurrection and Life! Alleluia!

Reference:  (For a related teaching view, download or order our leaflets Unforgiveness is the Cause and 14 Questions on Forgiveness on our website.)

Rescript:  In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period August 1, 2023 through September 30, 2023. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 4, 2023

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.