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August 11

FOCUS:    God forgives beyond measure, and so we must do the same.

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00:00 / 02:20

Ezekiel 12: 1-12

Psalm 78

Matthew 18:21 – 19:1


Today we celebrate the Memorial of St. Clare, who was born in Assisi, Italy in 1194 AD and passed to eternal life in 1253 AD.  She turned away from a wealthy lifestyle and at the direction of St. Francis of Assisi, moved to a Benedictine convent.  There, St. Francis gave her a Rule by which she and the other Sisters who established the Second Order of Franciscans were to live their lives.  They lived a simple life, barefoot, slept on the ground, did not eat meat, and for the most part they silently engaged in work and prayer – and they were exceedingly happy doing it!


By removing the many things of this world that she could have had, her heart, mind and soul were wide open to trusting Jesus in all ways and each day.  The Order owned no property, they lived on the daily donations of the community, trusting in God that He would provide.  When Frederick II came to attack Assisi, St. Clare put the Eucharist in her hands, placed it at the wall of the city, prayed for our Lord to protect the Sisters and all they serve…the soldiers left.


Great trust.  We are all called to great trust.  Our gospel today shows the fruit of great trust.  When we are willing to forgive others who harm us, we begin to more clearly see Christ in others.  We begin to see the compassion God has for us when we extend compassion to others.  Jesus tells us that we are called to forgive in HUGE ways – nice words that can be REALLY tough to carry out.


Carrying around anger and spite is a heavy load – like carrying a piano on your back up a mountain.  You may make it up the mountain of life but you will miss the beautiful view along the way.  Trust that every time you forgive others – especially the intense and weighty times you forgive – Jesus, who is the great Redeemer, is smiling right smack dab at you!  Who needs your forgiveness?  Don’t wait! 


Smile at God today!  He thinks you are amazing!