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Desert Dune

September 17, 2023

24th Sunday
Ordinary Time

FOCUS:  We cannot claim forgiveness only for ourselves; God’s mercy is for all.

We are all the same flesh: fellow sinners, servants, and debtors, and God’s mercy is for us all. We cannot seek pardon for ourselves yet refuse mercy to others. We must forgive as we have been forgiven. In the community of God’s covenant, mercy is shared, not seven times but seventy-seven times, as Jesus teaches.

What's in Your Heart

  • Not forgiving is an ingratitude. How could we not forgive others, when God has forgiven us so much? Another way of putting it, scripture says this week, is that if we do not show others forgiveness, it cannot be shown us. How does the reciprocity of forgivenessforgive as you are forgiven, and as you want to be forgivenshow itself in your life and the lives of those around you?

  • What are situations where it is necessary to keep forgiving, seventy times seventhat is, as many times as necessary?

  • What does it mean to live entirely in the Lord, to live everything in the Lord?

  • Are you "slow to anger," the way God is with you and others?

Homily Stories

“Do you want to be right or do you want to be in relationship?” That was a question Catholic psychologist Sidney Callahan said a friend posed after an extended feud. It was a lesson in forgiveness.

Recently my sister and I came to an impasse following a small incident that we both viewed with much more intensity than it deserved. I thought my sister was being selfish and inconsiderate. She thought I was being unreasonable and controlling. After several heated conversations, it was obvious that we were not going to see eye to eye.

I really felt she owed me an apology before I could move on. At first I tried to gain the support of my husband and other family members. Surely they would see that I was right and that my sister needed to concede to my view of the situation. But spouse and siblings weren’t buying it. They said that we were both right and both wrong. I hate that!

I couldn’t just dive into work and ignore the riff. I wanted things to be back to normal between usbest buddies, confidants, creative springboards. But I had drawn a line and until an apology came, there would be no fence-mending. Then, one morning that question that Sidney Callahan’s friend had asked came to mind, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be in relationship?” I knew what I had to do. I called my sister and told her I still wasn’t talking to her. And then we spent the next 20 minutes catching up on all we’d missed in the past week.

Vineyard in front of a Church

First Reading

1st Reading
00:00 / 01:11

Second Reading

2nd Reading
00:00 / 00:39


00:00 / 02:26

Video Reflection


He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.
—George Herbert

If, then, you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, because he himself is the way.
—Thomas Aquinas

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