If I don't forgive, I will not be forgiven
Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time
September 13, 2020 •
If we don't forgive - our Lord tells us what will happen - we will not be forgiven, which means we will be damned. We'll be lost. That's it. It's very cut and dried.
And yet how often do we struggle to forgive? How often? It's this great effort that we make. I hear it all the time: "Father I'm trying to forgive, I'm really trying. It's just too hard." And I say, "Well clearly you're not trying hard enough. You just need to find the motivation, the reason to forgive."
We hear the reason that all of us should use in our first reading from Sirach. In order to motivate you to forgive someone, for any reason, he says all you have to do is think about the end of your life and your own judgement. That's your motivation!
You have to realize that when you're brought before the Lord, He's going to decide on whether you deserve mercy or not. Now, He wants to show you mercy. He's willing to show you mercy.
But if you have refused mercy to others, then you have none. If that doesn't motivate you to forgive, then what will?
Listen though the end to hear Father discuss the hierarchy of offenses against God in the Ten Commandments. Is taking the Lord's name in vain more serious an offense against God than adultery? Murder? We can find the motivation to forgive even the most grievous offenses once we better understand how gravely we ourselves have offended God and yet received His mercy. "Adultery and murder are more human and personal offenses ... if something like that happened to you or someone in your family, you would be far more offended and hurt than if you had used God's name in vain. Or missed Mass on Sunday without a good reason. And yet, God is more offended by your sin than theirs. When was the last time you thought about that?"
Sir 27:30-28-7; Ps 116:12-13, 17-18; Rom 14:7-9; Mt 18:21-35
Homily begins at 18:25