September 17th 2017 Bulletin Message, Fr. Floyd McKinney
“Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.” These words from the Book of Sirach remind us that forgiveness is a deep and necessary part of our spiritual tradition, handed down to us from our Jewish ancestors in faith. Jesus echoes this teaching when He gives us the “Our Father,” which tells us to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
The Gospel from Matthew today is very strong. Jesus is so clear in His teaching to us: forgive everything from your heart! We are not allowed to hold on to anything against anybody. Rather, as Jesus teaches, we must go even further and help those who harm us and give to those who rob us. To follow Jesus is not easy and asks us to give ourselves completely to Him and to following Him. Christianity will never be a life of comfort, even though we may have comforts from time to time.
We can also ask ourselves today how we relate to those around us? Are we people who forgive others? Are we people who really seek to love and serve others? Do we seek to see Christ in others? Do we look for God’s will in our lives and in the lives others?
At the heart of the teachings of Jesus, at the heart of His own life, is this deep awareness of God’s presence in all creation and in all peoples. Even in the agony of Jesus and in the Cross, Jesus keeps His heart with love for others.
Today, we are invited to forgive and to follow Jesus once more in a way that gives witness to the glory of God. Let us walk the way of the Lord.