November 11, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop 

Luke 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’
you should forgive him.”

And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

Reflection (Sem. Eldrick Peña):

            Forgiveness is one of the major themes of our Gospel for today.  We are invited by Christ not to tire in forgiving those who have wronged us.  It is true that the greatest challenge to Christianity is to love even the unlovable – and that includes loving even our enemies who have offended us.  And loving our enemies can only happen if we learn how to forgive.

            I have this tendency of harbouring negative thoughts on a person who had offended me.  The problem is, I wallow in bitterness and hatred against the person but the person is not even aware that I have that feeling against him.  In the end, I found myself in the losing end because I allowed the person or should I say, my ill feeling about the person have power over me and take possession of me.

            I am therefore invited to be forgiving simply because I had also been forgiven much.  My sinfulness, my unworthiness, God has set aside all those and still risked in calling me towards service to His kingdom, no matter how unworthy I am.  For the Lord God calls not the worthy, but the willing and the faithful towards service for the spread of His Kingdom.   I am reminded that I am in the seminary not because I could do something for God, but because God wants to do something in me.  And this, I feel is more than enough reason for me to be forgiving of others, because in forgiveness, I am able to love more not only my neighbour, but my God, who loved me first.

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