Psalm 78: 56-57, 58-59, 61-62 “…Do not forget the works of the Lord!…”
Matthew 18: 21- 19:1 “… Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. ‘So, will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.’…”
St. Louis of Toulouse (1274 – 1297) Became a Franciscan and a Bishop all before he died at age 23. He was from nobility, but had a very strong affection for the poor, sharing food with them as a child and donating three fourths of his pay to them as a Bishop later on.
In today’s readings we can consider ourselves proselytized; I myself stand convicted. In Ezekiel, the word of the LORD told Ezekiel that he lived in the midst of a rebellious house. “…eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear.” (Ez 12:2) It seems to me we live during rebellious times today too, for there is no end in site to the wars, abortion and lawlessness. For the part that I contribute to not loving my brother and or sister as Jesus always taught, I repent. I know of late instead of finding a way to discuss our differences, I find myself just being disgusted. Lord you know I need your help!
Jesus further convicts me when he responds to a question about forgiveness, that we should forgive our brother or sister “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Mt 18:22) He goes into the parable of a master forgiving the debt of a servant, even though the servant does not go on and forgive the people who owe him money. Forgiveness makes so much sense when put into this context, but in real life it is so hard to do. Is it pride that keeps us from forgiving someone who has hurt us? Or, is it fear that with this association they could come in and do the same thing again? I think it is both for me, and yet I would not want to disconnect my heart so I couldn’t be hurt again. In my head I understand we can’t cry out for God to show us your Mercy, and then not show mercy when we’ve been wronged. My heart is still in training and these are hard teachings. My first read through, I thought why me Lord; but, then again, why not me? Good lessons along the way to sainthood, Lord help us to be more like you and therefore our namesake.
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