Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
An expression I heard years ago, but I really love it. It’s a Chinese proverb and it says this: That the human tongue can destroy a thousand lives without ever shedding a drop of blood. That the human tongue is capable of destroying a thousand lives without ever sharing a drop of blood. It is the destructive power of gossip. And all of us know what gossip is. And some of us participated in times and we know how damaging it can be.
You go back to a personal experience, back in the parish where I’ve been for many years, and there was a person in the parish who didn’t get the attention that they wanted from me. And I considered this person a friend as it were. And, it got back to me that this person was saying some very terrible things about me that were absolutely not true. And when I first heard it, is as I suspect all of you and gossip about you has come back to you, you get angry. I was furious. Absolutely.
And I wanted to react. And then I thought about it. The first thing I did is I picked up the phone and I called that person, I asked if I could see them with a witness. And I confronted the person on what they had said. And admitted that it was not true. But I got to say, that experience and my attitude towards a person changed dramatically. My heart was hardened. I was angry.
And it took me a long time to get over that hardened heart, that anger, until I realized it led me nowhere. Anger and hardened hearts lead us nowhere. The answer to when we’ve been hurt and offended is to forgive. To forgive the person and to let our heart of stone be converted back into a heart of human flesh. A heart that forgives and offers compassion and healing to others. I say this because it’s a universal experience we’ve all had.
We’ve all experienced that kind of hurt when something is said or done that is totally unjust. And rather than carry a hardened, dark heart or attitude towards the other find forgiveness in your heart. Offer forgiveness. And what you’ll find is that the heart of darkness, that hardened heart will become a heart of flesh again.
In communication and openness and forgiveness and understanding. It’s possible. It’s the invitation of the gospel, as disciples were called to accept.
Lv 19:1-2, 17-18
1 Cor 3:16-23
Mt 5:38-48 (79)