11th Sunday of the Year – The Gift of Forgiveness

Forgiveness1

Study:  Consider a moment when you experienced forgiveness.  How did it affect you?

Pray:  Is there someone you are struggling to forgive right now?  Ask the Lord for help and guidance.

Serve:  How can you help encourage forgiveness in the lives of those around you?  How can you be an example of forgiveness?

11th Sunday of the Year Readings

What a gift we have with the forgiveness of God!  We make mistakes, we mess up, we willingly sin and hurt others….and yet, when we return to Jesus Christ with a repentant heart, we find a loving Lord who longs to make us whole.  Here’s a quick summary of this week’s readings:

  • 1st Reading – David repents of his terrible sin against Uriah
  • Psalm – “Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.”
  • 2nd Reading – St. Paul reminds us that we  are justified by faith in Christ
  • Gospel – Jesus forgives the weeping woman

The power of forgiveness touches us on many levels, allowing us to let go of past wounds and open the doors of our hearts to God’s healing divine mercy.  What’s more, forgiveness takes strength:

  • Strength to rise above petty issues and concerns
  • Strength to take the higher moral road that leads to life
  • Strength to move from victim to survivor
  • Strength to destroy the control of old injuries and engage life with joy
  • Strength to break the shackles of hate and embrace peace
  • Strength to turn away from sin and turn toward Christ

Make no mistake, forgiveness is not easy!  Yet, forgiveness is the key that opens our souls to receive the Lord, and the Good News is that Jesus gives us this strength to seek forgiveness whenever we ask!  As we reflect on these readings, give consideration to two different aspects of forgiveness:

  1. Who do I need to forgive?  Who has hurt/harmed me and how can I end the cycle of spiritual destruction?
  2. Who do I need to ask for forgiveness?  Who have I hurt/harmed and how can I reach out and seek to make things right?

Both of these aspects require God’s freely given grace.   May we commit our hearts to become people of forgiveness, allowing the strength of Christ to touch and bless our lives.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

One response to “11th Sunday of the Year – The Gift of Forgiveness

  • Paul LaLiberte

    Fr Andrew
    What do we do when we have asked for forgiveness from someone who has supposedly been hurt by us, but who won’t say what has happened and even though we have asked for forgiveness and requested a face to face conversation refuses to meet?

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