St Francis Xavier
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St Francis Xavier-
60 Davey Street, Frankston, Vic 3199
Rev Chinua Okeke
(03) 9783 3484
Mon - Fri 9am to 4pm

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Sunday Homily

The Power of Forgiveness and Letting Go

 

Do I always forgive others is today's challenge from our readings, or do I forgive some who offend me and not

others?  Am I a person who bears grudges?  How do I deal with the person who harms me or hurts my feelings?.

 

Only God can give us the grace to forgive others; those who have harmed us in any way at all. God calls us to

immediate and complete forgiveness of others.  God is very clear in todays readings: if you do not forgive, how can you  possibly ask for forgiveness, mercy and grace?.  Judge not and you will not be judged.

 

In the first reading of today, Sirach spells out the Gospel’s teaching: if anyone who is flesh, cherishes wrath, who can forgive his sins?. In order to be forgiven, we must learn to forgive and overlook the faults of others.

 

The second reading from the letter to the Romans also speaks of our debt to one another:  None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.  We can only truly live when we live for and in the Lord - and the Lord is always

compassionate and merciful.  Let us learn to forgive, even those things that seem unforgivable.  It is God Himself

inviting us to cleanse our souls and to forgive all who have harmed us in any way.   Every time we hold on to our anger and refuse forgiveness, we damage and harm only ourselves.

 

In the Gospel reading of the day, Peter came up with a very crucial question after hearing Jesus' words of

reconciliation: How often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me, or how do I treat the person who harms me?  Seven times?  Seven is a number indicating perfection and in the case of Peter's proposal, seven is synonymous with always.  Jesus sees further and replies:  Seventy times seven.  He eliminates any possible limitation to

forgiveness.  Not seven, but seventy times seven, because there is no proportion between the forgiveness we receive from God and our forgiving our brothers and sisters.  

 

To make it very clear on his stand about forgiveness, Jesus tells us the parable of limitless forgiveness where a servant who could not pay his huge debt was forgiven.  None of us can repay our debt to the Lord.  Instead he forgives us our debts and asks us to forgive others.

 

When Jesus speaks of the king who wants to settle his accounts with his servants, he is thinking of God who forgives all.  When he speaks of the debt of the servant forgiven by the king, he is thinking of our huge debt with God who always forgives us.  When he speaks of the attitude of the forgiven servant who will not forgive his fellow servant, he is thinking of us, forgiven by God, but  not forgiving readily our brothers and sisters.

 

All of us who have sinned can understand  the debt that we owe to the Lord.  The more we see that debt, the more we can understand that we must forgive others.  Jesus wants us to see that forgiveness is liberating, and it is the most

liberating for the one doing the forgiving.  Forgiveness allows us to walk in the freedom of the sons and daughters of God, not as children of the law.  We will be forgiven the length, height and depth that we measure out forgiveness to others.

 

Forgiveness liberates us from the ways of this world, it takes us into the heart of God and to the sanctuary of his grace.  To forgive is truly divine, and the presence of God is something we all desperately need in our lives, particularly in the days in which we presently live.   The only limit to the free mercy of God who always forgives us is our refusal to forgive our brothers and sisters.   We must let go in order to be free and happy in our minds, hearts and also to fulfil the obligation of limitless forgiveness commanded by Our Lord in today’s readings. 

 

Our mission this week is to pray to God to grant us the spirit of humility, patience and the virtue of limitless

forgiveness; to remember the last three things, and have a very good relationship with God and our neighbours.

 

  God bless you all.                                                           

 

 

 

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                                              Fr. Jude Agorchukwu CSSp

 

 

Upcoming Events

Street Rosary: October 14th   10.00 am

Confirmation: October 18th.

 

 

                       

 

 

    

 

 

     

 

 

 

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