11 August – Memorial for St. Clare, Virgin, Religious founder
Clare (1194-1253) loved music and well-composed sermons. She was humble, merciful, charming, optimistic, and chivalrous. She would get up late at night to tuck in her sisters who’’d kicked off their covers. She daily meditated on the Passion. When she learned of the Franciscan martyrs in Morrocco in 1221, she tried to go there to give her own life for God, but was restrained. Once, when her convent was about to be attacked, she displayed the Sacrament in a monstrance at the convent gates and prayed before it. The attackers left.
Toward the end of her life, when she was too ill to attend Mass, an image of the service would be displayed on the wall of her cell; thus her patronage of television.
– Patron Saint Index
The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, you are living with that set of rebels who have eyes and never see, ears and never hear, for they are a set of rebels. You, son of man, pack an exile’s bundle and emigrate by daylight when they can see you, emigrate from where you are to somewhere else while they watch. Perhaps they will admit then that they are a set of rebels. You will pack your baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight, for them to see, and leave like an exile in the evening, making sure that they are looking. As they watch, make a hole in the wall, and go out through it. As they watch, you will shoulder your pack and go out into the dark; you will cover your face so that you cannot see the country, since I have made you a symbol for the House of Israel.’
I did as I had been told. I packed my baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight; and in the evening I made a hole through the wall with my hand. I went out into the dark and shouldered my pack as they watched.
The next morning the word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, did not the House of Israel, did not that set of rebels, ask you what you were doing? Say, “The Lord says this: This oracle is directed against Jerusalem and the whole House of Israel wherever they are living.” Say, “I am a symbol for you; the thing I have done will be done to them; they will go into exile, into banishment.” Their ruler will shoulder his pack in the dark and go out through the wall; a hole will be made to let him out; he will cover his face rather than see the country.’
Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.
‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’
Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and he left Galilee and came into the part of Judaea which is on the far side of the Jordan.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?
The world tells us that to err is human and to forgive is divine. This is only half the truth. As humans, we are as capable as making mistakes as we are of forgiving others. Because as Catholics, we know that God is merciful and forgiving and we know that we are made in His likeness; and in today’s gospel we are asked to forgive as He does. The price of unforgiveness is that He will not forgive us.
Is God making a bargain with us? Certainly not, He knows the price of unforgiveness and of broken relationships involving both parties and, sometimes, their loves ones as well. He wants the best for us, nothing mediocre would do.
There is nothing good about unforgiveness. Some worship leaders have even said that unforgiveness causes cancer.
How do we do this, forgive and reconcile? Sometimes, the other party is not willing to ‘make peace’, yet this is not an excuse for us to live in resentment, anger, pain, hatred and remorse. We share the same Father and the same Mother, we are theirs and as parents, they want us to be united. They are praying for you and me each time we face challenges in this area, even as we approach various crossroads in our lives. So take heart and open up your heart to the Lord in order to receive His grace and mercy; before you know it, you will find forgiving others second nature. Keep trying and keep pursuing the Lord of forgiveness.
Let’s make forgiveness our commitment to ourselves, right here and right now, for each day and for the rest of our lives. Let us not allow unforgiveness to take a dominant role in our life. Let God work through our hearts and the hearts of all those we love and used to love.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Josephine Dionisappu)
Prayer: Abba Father and Mother Mary, pray for us and our trespassers and all the time we struggle to forgive those who trespass against us. We ask you today to especially bless all those who cannot forgive us, grant them your peace and love.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for forgiving us, your children. Each time we mess up, we are confident that your forgiveness is freely offered to us.