Forgiveness is not easy; it takes time and effort. Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It doesn’t mean a change in memory; it means a change of heart. Forgiveness is willing to allow a person who has offended me to start over again. Forgiveness recognizes the humanity of the person who has wronged us and also recognizes our own humanity and our own shortcomings and our own contribution to what goes wrong in relationships.
St. Jane Frances de Chantal –
We pray to be God’s prophets of reconciliation and vehicles of forgiveness, to speak God’s Word of compassion in the devastating silence of anger; offering the balm of understanding and acceptance to the wounded and hurt; and restore the bond of God’s love to people broken by misunderstanding, intolerance and self-centeredness.
St. Clare –
In today’s society ‘the little ones’ can assume a variety of shapes and situations. We instinctively think of little children. However, today’s Gospel challenges us to enlarge our vision and imagine other scenarios. The little ones must also include the chronically ill, the shut-ins, the homeless, the outcasts of our society. Today’s Gospel implicitly summons us to be attentive to the needs of all.
St. Lawrence –
Most of us are not called to suffer like St. Lawrence although some Christians are still persecuted for their faith. But we are all called to serve, putting personal interests at the bottom of our agenda. Service is the basis of sainthood and of daily discipleship. So let us serve one another with a sense of gladness, as Christ and the saints have served us, giving without counting the cost.
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time –
Faith in God means accepting our human limitations and trusting God to manage the universe he has made. At the height of the storm, when all their efforts had failed, the disciples saw Jesus calmly walking amid the towering waves. What a marvelous symbol of faith! It reminds us that the affairs of this troubled world are in stronger hands than our own.
St. Dominic –
Jesus often rebukes his disciples for having little faith. To Jesus, faith is the assurance that everything is possible to God. Faith is the remarkable force that empowers us to accomplish the ordinary or the seemingly impossible. There is no burden so heavy that God cannot help us carry it, no problem so insoluble that God cannot remove it.
“Take up your cross and follow me.” The disciples at the time of Jesus had seen a crucifixion which was commonplace. We often interpret this statement of Jesus as tolerating a daily struggle or hardship. Are we really willing to deny ourselves for the sake of Jesus Christ? This is a major decision!
The Transfiguration of the Lord –
In the routine of life, we all need to pause for a moment and realize the ‘transfigurations’ that are taking place in our lives, moments when we need to be still and realize the quietness of God’s presence with us. And it is in these quiet moments that our lives are specially touched by eternity. We must be still and listen!
There are certain characteristics about the woman in this gospel that make for some interesting ingredients for our life of faith and prayer. She was dedicated to her cause which was that of having her daughter healed. She had incredible faith, unbeatable persistence and a great sense of humor. Does our prayer reflect our faith in God? Is our life in our prayer?
St. John Vianney –
I think we can all agree that the world we live in is a very image-conscious. No matter how hard we try we cannot change our persona from the outside. The real me is within. Transformation begins in the soul and only then manifests itself in how we live our life each day. In spite of what the Pharisees thought, cleansing our hands can never make our heart clean.