24th Sunday in Ordinary Time                    September 17 2023

This Sunday’s readings are all about forgiveness: forgiveness of neighbors and God’s forgiveness to us. We are being challenged to be forgiving people and to become forgiving communities. In the book of Sirach, we are called to address our ‘wrath, anger and vengefulness’, and to put a stop to them and follow the commandments. Jesus tells us we need to forgive seventy-seven times, meaning we need to be forgiving people. Stopping one’s anger or wrath is not enough, as the Old Testament tells us, but a change in oneself is essential as the new way, according to Jesus in the New Testament.

Becoming a forgiving person is the challenge because it means a change in our whole person, and that is not an easy task. Our culture and traditions tell us we must live a balanced life following the medicine wheel teachings. The grandfather teachings invite us to practice respect, honesty, truth, and courage toward ourselves and to all around us. The practice of Christian virtues is similar in this regard. Being proactive toward living our life in balance and working to change our attitudes is what Jesus is talking about when he says ‘forgive seventy-seven times’. When we are balanced in our own lives, we work on being respectful, honest, brave and true, going against our negative ego. We then gradually become a humble, wise and loving people. It means we esteem and respect ourselves, bravely and honesty, to be true to who we are, then turn to respect all people, animals and all of creation. When we live in honesty and truth, we are a humble people; and humble people know who they are, loved people of God, as St Paul tells us in the second reading.

When we have the humility of knowing who we really are, we can then recognize the people around us for who they really are, loved people of God, just like ourselves. It is then we can look at our poor stumbling neighbor, who is trying to do the right thing in their limitations and brokenness, with a compassion that does not even need forgiveness because we look with the eyes of love. As we pick each other up and dust each other off, we are looking at ourselves in our neighbor with a compassionate gaze of love. Love and compassion need no forgiveness, and we can gaze at each other as Jesus gazes on us with love.

– Sr. Kateri (Terry) Beaudry

Did you like this? Share it:

© 2006-2024 Anishinabe Spiritual Centre All Rights Reserved