Last weekend I began my homily by asking those who live within a perfect family to please stand up? Well, you can imagine that no one stood up. Even I attempted to sit down. This weekend we focus on what keeps us bound to sin: a lack of forgiveness. We ourselves may have experienced or have known someone who for some reason or other refuses to speak to another relative or friend. It may have been the result of some age old misunderstanding, something someone did or said that prompted such a “cold shoulder” response. These hurts can last for decades and oftentimes do not injure the intended person as much as the one who holds on to this anger. The wisdom literature of Ben Sirach gives sound advice. “Can one refuse mercy to a sinner like oneself, yet seek pardon for one’s own sins?” Sirach 28:4. This Old Testament wisdom is reinforced by Jesus’ response to Peter’s question. Peter is being very generous suggesting that we forgive others at least seven times. Yet Jesus pushes Peter’s generosity to infinite totals as He suggests, “No not seven times but seventy-seven times.” Jesus knows the harm one can self-inflict by holding on to anger and unresolved issues. These unresolved issues can have dire consequences as we learn by the story Jesus tells about the one who is forgiven but does not in turn forgive another. In our own lives and even in the life of the Body of Christ within which we live, let us identify the hurts we still carry. Let us examine and accept the reality of God’s forgiveness and patience with us. Then let us seek God’s power to forgive and be released from that burden as we forgive the trespasses of others. May the healing power of God’s forgiveness make us ambassadors of reconciliation.
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS will be on hand at all three of our parishes on the September 24th weekend Masses. At St. Lawrence we welcome home Moses Ikuelogbon, at Nativity, Deacon Timothy Theriault, and at St. Martin de Porres, William Papaj. All three are students of Theology at Christ the King Seminary and in formation for the Holy Priesthood. May we welcome them and support the good work of the seminary with the special second collection.
ST. MARTIN DE PORRES will host the Diocesan Revival sponsored by the Office of Cultural Diversity’s Diocesan African American Commission. A Revival is about giving us the opportunity to get spiritually lifted, to get revived in the Spirit. The Revival 2017 will be held Oct. 9-11, beginning each night from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. Oct. 10, is being planned with and for the teens and young adults of our diocese. Adults are also welcome on that day. All are welcome to come and enjoy the music and the preaching by Father R. Tony Ricard, the campus minister and chair of the Theology Department at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans.