Sunday September 17, 2023

Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica

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“When we free others from the debts they owe us for hurting us, we free ourselves and OUR healing begins!”


Good News Reflection for:

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 17, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

My Father, I ask You to grant me the grace of having a deep and sincere relationship with You. May Your love start bearing fruit in me, forgiving others and being merciful to them. Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:
gnm.org/SaintQuotes/

Today’s Readings:

Sirach 27:30–28:9
Ps 103:1-4, 9-12
Romans 14:7-9
Matthew 18:21-35
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091723.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2020-09-13

The freedom of forgiveness

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

Jesus’ message In this Sunday’s Gospel reading explains a line from the “Our Father” prayer he had taught earlier (Matthew 6:12): “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”

The strongest word here is “AS” — the same as, just like, in equal measure.

If there is anyone we have not forgiven, if there is anyone we cannot pray for with love, we’d better keep our mouths shut during this part of the prayer to our Father, who is the Father of all.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to forgive because we think “forgiving” means “forgetting”. Jesus never said that we must forget what the debtor owes. Forgiveness means remembering — and learning from the memory — without demanding repayment or retribution.

Unforgiveness is a form of punishment: it’s payback time. For example, if we remain angry, we hope that our anger or coldness will somehow punish the sinner into repentance. Well, guess what. That never works.

Here’s something else we do that never works: holding a grudge to protect ourselves from getting hurt again. Grudges do not free us from the pain of bad memories. It chains us to them.

When we free others from the debts they owe us for hurting us (whether they seek it or not, whether they’re still alive or not), we free ourselves and our healing begins — OUR healing!

It’s the most loving gift that we can give to ourselves, as it’s a gift of love to others. Even when they don’t recognize our gift, God does.

Questions for Personal Reflection:
Who angers you because they don’t deserve your forgiveness? What are you gaining from unforgiveness and resentment? What will you lose if you forgive?

Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
What is the most difficult part of forgiveness? What steps do you take for pushing yourself into truly letting go of unforgiveness so you can find healing? Sharing this with others will spread good ideas that could change someone’s life!

For more on this use our Podcast “How to Forgive When it’s Difficult” @ gnm-media.org/footsteps-to-heaven-forgive-when-its-difficult/

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica


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