Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
There’s a wonderful Chinese proverb, and I suspect all of you have heard it. I just love it because it rings true. It goes like this: The human tongue can destroy 1000 lives without ever shedding a drop of blood. The human tongue can destroy 1000 lives without ever shedding a drop of blood.
How true that is, gossip and slander, the things that we can say to one another, the things that we do to wound one another. All of you, including myself, have experienced being hurt because someone has said something that simply is not true about us, or perhaps we are the offenders who have done the same. To someone else. It hurts, it wounds, and it hardens our heart.
In the gospel today, Jesus says something pretty interesting, and it catches our attention and suppose to, “Someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other.” Who would ever do that? It’s not in our nature, but Jesus is telling us this, this powerful statement, so they capture our attention to listen more. About how it is that we are to respond when we have been hurt or when we have hurt another in either instance, our hearts get hardened, they get dark. And we don’t like ourselves, and we don’t like the way in which we are relating to the other.
Sin hardens the heart. It keeps us from being the people that we’re called to be. And so the remedy for that is forgiveness, to offer forgiveness and to receive forgiveness. How important that is. The Lord says in the Old Testament, I will take away your stony heart, your heart and hearts. And I will give you hearts of flesh again.
Here at Mercy Home, when we have difficult moments when our young people living with us get in a disagreement or an argument or say something bad about each other. What we do is we bring them together in what we call a restorative justice circle. And we have them talk to one another to let the other know what their words meant and how it affected their lives and how they were hurt. And then we encourage and we invite that they forgive each other.
Forgiveness is part and parcel of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us practice and let us offer reconciliation and forgiveness to one another, and our hearts will be liberated and we will know and we will express the love of God to one another.
1 Sm 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23
1 Cor 15:45-49
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