-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter on the back of the parish bulletin or at www.saint-albert.org/lincletter
-I will be celebrating mass at 5:30 Saturday and 9:30 and 12:30pm on Sunday
Forgetting is forgiving
The manner with which the master in the story treated the ungrateful/unforgiving servant is the way that God will treat any of us who do not forgive our brother or sister from the heart. How is that? That God will turn those of us who will not forgive over to the torturers until we forgive. I had never before heard that and never thought about it.
What I have thought about often is what is the cost of "not forgiving". I have always understood the punishment for being unforgiving is leveled against the one who is not forgiving. The people that we will not forgive don't even know that we are not forgiving them. Unforgiveness is a complete self-destructive behavior. So when we do not forgive our brother or sister from the heart the torture that we are handed over to is are unforgiving self. The only release from that torture is to forgive-pay back the entire debt.
What I'm hoping to preach about is this grave misunderstanding of those who say "I have forgiven so-and-so but I will never forget". That is in effect non-forgiving. That type of remembering or never forgetting is not forgiving. "Never forgetting" is the self-torture about which Jesus speaks in the Gospel today. That "never forgetting" is just a nice way of talking about the self-torture of unforgiving.
Jesus shows us the type of Christianity that we are to live, let us call it crucified Christianity. Such crucified Christianity is one that does not notice or give attention to the pain and injury being caused to oneself but rather actively forgives it, not holding others accountable or indebted for that injury. So, crucified Christianity is also the practice of forgetting the injury caused, don't think about it, don't give it any more power than its original pain. Forgetting is to starve injury of its power to affect us. Just simply ignore the pain and injury is to forgive it. But you have to do that consciously.
So, forgetting is the purest form of forgiving. So, I don't will never believe someone who says "I have forgiven I just will never forget". I would like to hear one say "I have ignored and forgotten the pain and injury by forgiving it."
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!