24th Sunday Year A

Homilies:

Commentaries:

1st Reading – Sirach 27:30 – 28:7

Sirach was called Ecclesiasticus in the early Church – the book of the Church – because it was everyone’s favourite to read – practical wisdom for how to live a godly life.

“Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.”

  • How we tend to hug to ourselves resentment, both personal & international.
  • What is anger? resentment? “The deadly sin of anger a passion for revenge that goes beyond the control of reason” (Aquinas). 
  • What is the antidote? Forgiveness! Not just once but 77 times. Forgive us our trespasses – as we forgive those who trepass against us. God forgives us constantly – without limit! We should forgive others in the same measure. Jesus calls us to perfection, not mediocrity. 
  • What’s 1 resentment you’ve been hanging on for too long? What resentment have you been hugging? Think how self-destructive that has been for you. Stop hugging the resentment. 
  • Practical – this week take a concrete step. a note, a nice letter, email, phone call, conversation. Do something concrete & practical to repair that relationship. 
  • When you’re hurt, forgive immediately and constantly. Don’t let the wound of that resentment fester. 
  • Stop talking behind people’s backs!
  • Criticize someone only in the measure that you’re helping to deal with them in what you’re criticizing. 
  • “Father, forgive them! They do not know what they do.” 
  • “Hugging Anger” by Bishop Barron

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 103:1-12

“The Lord is merciful and gracious; slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love”

How far does God remove our sins? “As far as the east is from the west” (v. 12)

2nd Reading – Romans 14:7-9

  • You Are Not Your Own by Bishop Barron = Modernity = “my life my death my choice” .VS.  Paul = whether we live or die we are the Lords! Paul says he is a slave of Christ Jesus. He belongs entirely to Jesus. He is no longer his own. Totally Jesus’. We live only in the measure in which we discover what God wants us to do.

Gospel – Matthew 18:21-35

10,000 talents = 60 million days wages – the Master’s extravagant mercy. 

vs. 100 denarii = 100 days wages – the servant’s non-existent mercy. 

“So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart” (v.35).
  • This is the whole point of the parable.

“This parable contains a profound teaching for all of us… In short, we are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us… For us Christians, it is an imperative from which we cannot excuse ourselves. At times how hard it seems to forgive! And yet pardon is the instrument placed into our fragile hands to attain serenity of heart. To let go of anger, wrath, violence, and revenge are necessary conditions to living joyfully.” (Pope Francis, The Face of Mercy, 9)

CCC 2843 Thus the Lord’s words on forgiveness, the love that loves to the end, become a living reality. The parable of the merciless servant, which crowns the Lord’s teaching on ecclesial communion, ends with these words: “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” It is there, in fact, “in the depths of the heart,” that everything is bound and loosed. It is not in our

power not to feel or to forget an offense; but the heart that offers itself to the Holy Spirit turns injury into compassion and purifies the memory in transforming the hurt into intercession. (368)

Does the message of the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant challenge you? Is there someone in your own life toward whom you need to show mercy and forgiveness? If you choose not forgive, what does Jesus say will be the result? What is the spiritual “prison” into which he speaks of being cast?

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