A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Two weeks ago today

Hurricane Katrina approached the shores of Louisiana. Within a day or two, cities and towns would be overwhelmed and many people would be dead.

Four years ago today,
the World Trade Center was attacked. Within an hour or two, those great buildings would collapse and many people would be dead.

The words of today’s second reading (Rom. 14:7-9) speak gently and powerfully to us:

For if we live,
we live for the Lord,
and if we die,
we die for the Lord;

so then, whether we live or die,
we are the Lord's.

You and I – by the grace of God – are not dead yet, so therefore we must resolve ever more fervently to live for the Lord.

And today’s other readings (Sir. 27:30-28:7 & Mt. 18:21-35) remind us of one of the necessary ways we must live for the Lord:

We must forgive!

“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive?
As many as seven times?”

Jesus answered,
“I say to you, not seven times
but seventy-seven times.”

That does not mean that once we pass number 77, we get to wreak our vengeance: it means we must continually forgive – again and again and again!

There’s an old saying, “Forgive, but never forget.”

There is great good in that, as long as each time we remember, we also remember to forgive again.

We must do what we can to protect the innocent and to solve the problems of injustice, but the lesson of these days and the lesson of today’s readings is that life is too short and the mercy of God too precious for us to hold onto anger and hatred. We must live for the Lord.

Forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.