Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

(Sirach 48:1-14; Matthew 6:7-15)

It is said that the "Our Father" lies at the heart of the Sermon on the Mount.  It may be added that at the heart of the "Our Father" lies Jesus' mandate to forgive.  Because it is not easy to fulfill, Jesus emphasizes it time and again in this gospel according to Matthew.

For lack of forgiveness Sunni and Shiite Muslims are at war in Iraq tearing apart that already shattered country.  For lack of forgiveness some brothers do not talk to each other.  Once, two priests ministered at the same hospital.  One was the hospital chaplain and the other, the vicar of the local parish.  Evidently something happened between the two which caused them not to speak to the one another.  They would pass each other on the floors of the hospital without saying a word.  Certainly their ministry to patients was compromised by the lack of communication.  They probably were causing as well scandal to everyone who knew them, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

Perhaps we have difficulty in forgiving because we think highly of ourselves and our sense of justice is violated by an act done against us.  Then we must remember that our highest dignity is being children of God who pleads with us to come down from our perch to make friends with everyone.