September 17, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Forgiving: a Sunday Scriptures blog

In the mega California Catholic parish where I was the leader, I asked the staff to observe a code of conduct. One item in it said that any staff person in conflict with another had 48 hours to resolve it — because reconciliation is not an option! But reconciliation is really tough. I think we all cringe when we hear Jesus telling Peter, in this Sunday’s Gospel, to forgive “not seven times but seventy-seven times.”  In his 2020 encyclical Fratelli Tutti, On Fraternity and Social friendship, C7 #226-252, Pope Francis applies reconciliation to individual lives, but also to international relations. Here are some non-continuous quotations:

“We are called to love everyone, without exception; at the same time, loving an oppressor does not mean allowing him to keep oppressing us, or letting him think that what he does is acceptable.” 

“Authentic reconciliation does not flee from conflict, but is achieved in conflict, resolving it through dialogue and open, honest and patient negotiation.” 

“Those who truly forgive do not forget. Instead, they choose not to yield to the same destructive force that caused them so much suffering. They break the vicious circle … [and] choose not to spread in society the spirit of revenge that will sooner or later return to take its toll.”

Think of someone who has truly injured you, or someone you know who is addicted, as you read this quote: “We should never confine others to what they may have said or done, but value them for the promise that they embody… .”

Besides living reconciliation in our own lives, Pope Francis also challenges us to be peacemakers in the groups in which we move, “men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter.” It seems we never get finished praying and reflecting about reconciliation.

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

One Comment:

  1. You are right Mary, it is easier said than done in our world of encounters.

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