Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday Mass - Sep 17, 2023 - Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fr. James Wallace
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Homily Video

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript

>>We have the theme of forgiveness. Now, we hear it all the time. I think as Christians, we’re familiar with this gospel, Jesus instructs us to forgive one another. We say this in the Our Father It’s wired into us, but it’s something we need to hear time and time again. Know that when Jesus speaks, whether it’s a parable or a teaching, it’s generally directed to two sorts of folks. It’s directed to us personally and it’s directed to the church, the kingdom, to society, if you will. Forgiveness, we need to individually forgive, and then society also needs this message of forgiveness.

Now, one of the things is hardest for me in forgiveness, and it is very difficult. First of all, it’s a grace. We need to pray for the grace to forgive because it’s really difficult, especially if someone has really hurt you, but with God, all things are possible. All God is asking for you is just ask him for help. Lord, help me to forgive this person. We also have to recognize, and which can be hard, is that we’ve been wounded. That we’re susceptible, we’re vulnerable to being hurt by someone.

It’s a pride or an ego thing that we have. No one could really ever affect me. We bury or we suppress the hurt that we’ve experienced. We don’t acknowledge it. The first thing is, wow, I actually am somewhat sensitive or emotional, whatever it might be, and I’ve been hurt by this person. To take that hurting heart to God, that can begin the process then of forgiveness because you could see just that person really did to you and how you’re affected by that individual.

Now, then society. It’s something I really think we need to hear right now, especially the need to forgive. You’ve all heard of this phrase, the cancellation culture that’s going on in our world. Everyone, for that matter, makes mistakes. We do stupid things. We say the wrong thing, we hurt each other. It’s because we’re fallen human beings. It’s inevitable. No one is perfect, only Jesus and his and his mother, Mary.

As much as I might like to try to be kind and generous and outgoing, whatever it might be, I’m going to hurt you. It’s not necessarily intentional, but it’s just going to happen. We say things, people are offended. What our culture is doing these days is we’re not forgiving the individual. We’re saying, “You’re done, you’re over, you’re canceled, you’re out.”

Why is that a bad thing? Is it really like promoting peace and harmony? No, it’s just whitewashing everything because then no one’s really going to be able to be themselves. We have to be free to talk even though we’re going to make mistakes. That’s why Jesus says you got to forgive 77 times because he knows we’re going to say things that hurt each other.

If we don’t forgive each other, if we don’t have instead of a cancellation culture, but a forgiveness culture, if we don’t have that, then no one’s going to speak or no one’s going to feel comfortable, no one’s going to be themselves. We’re basically going to become a utopia or just like robots. We’re not going to be fully alive. That’s what Jesus come to do to make us fully human beings.

Notice, again, he didn’t say never offend anyone because he knows that’s just an impossible task. He says, “Forgive everyone,” because we’re going to be offended. We can pray for ourselves for this grace to forgive, but let’s also pray for our culture. We really need it. This isn’t condoning the mean, negative, evil things that are said or done, but rather the response that we can really not fight evil with evil, but fight evil with love, with the heart of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let’s join our voices now together and profess our faith. I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, light from light, true God from true God, be God not made consubstantial with the Father.

Through him all things are made. For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. For our sake, he was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He suffered death and was buried and rose again on the third day in accordance with the scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one holy Catholic and Apostolic church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

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