Forgiveness

1st Sunday of Lent

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Originally delivered on February 28, 1993

Readings: Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19 or 5:12, 17-19; Matthew 4:1-11

We all struggle with a God who is love and mercy who also permits pain, suffering, and evil within His creation.  But through Jesus, we know that we are redeemed.  In spite of and in the midst of all the meanness, madness, and idiocy of human behavior, we are loved and forgiven for our shortcomings.

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on February 21, 1993

Readings: Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18; Corinthians 3:16-23; Matthew 5:38-48

In this homily, Fr. Healy retells the tragic story of the fire that struck his family’s home and its aftermath for the family. We are reminded that we must always forgive unconditionally.  Although this is very difficult, we have examples of parents,  including those of Jesus, whose children were killed by others.  We are called to forgive just as Mary and Joseph forgave.  In today’s readings we are also given encouragement to forgive.  In Leviticus, we hear the Lord say to Moses, “Be holy, for I, the Lord your God. am holy.  You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart.” Then, in the second reading, Paul says to the Corinthians that we are temples of a holy God.  We are challenged to let go of our hurts so that we might truly forgive.

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Readings: Genesis: 18:22-32; Colossians 2:12-14; Luke 11:1-13

Originally delivered on July 30, 1989

In this week’s readings, we hear about Sodom and Gomorrah. Through this story, we learn that we can talk to God, despite our sins.  In the today’s Gospel, Jesus says tells us how to pray.  Indeed, He wants us to forgive, just as He has forgiven us already.  That’s the spirit in which we should pray and the spirit in which we should live.  But, we must embrace this in our lives and make the message our own.

11th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on June 17, 1989

Readings:  Sm 12:7-10, 13, Gal 2:16, 19-21, Lk 7:36—8:3

We are sinners, but God is love.  His love is the air we breathe.  His forgiveness is the atmosphere in which we exist.  That is what we learn from today’s scriptures.  In the first reading, David, the king, is a sinner for having stolen another man’s wife. Additionally, he sent the woman’s husband, Uriah, off to battle so that the husband would be sure to be killed.  And yet, we hear that the Lord forgave David after he admits his sin. From the Gospel, we hear that God forgives regardless of the greatness of the sin itself.  It is through our very weakness that God’s mercy becomes even more obvious. Our task is, as sinners, is to welcome others with forgiveness and then to be agents of compassion and forgiveness of others, rather than their judges. As Paul reminds us, Jesus shows us that our faith in the power of His forgiveness will save us.

4th Sunday of Lent

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Originally delivered on March, 29, 1992

Readings: Joshua 5:9, 10-12; Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

In this homily, Fr. Healy reminds us that the parable of the Prodigal Son allows us to be with God, despite our shortcomings. Through a powerful story of his own, Fr. Healy reminds us that God is love. Indeed, Jesus is our older brother that petitions His Father for our forgiveness because of His love for us, despite our imperfections.

3rd Sunday of Easter

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Originally delivered on May 2, 1992

Readings: Acts of Apostles 5:27-32, 40-41; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19 or 21:1-14

In this homily, we hear of the tragedy of the riots in Los Angeles in 1992 and Fr. Healy’s struggle to understand the riots in light of the Easter allelujah that he felt during the season. From the first reading, we are reminded that we, like the apostles, sometimes may get into trouble doing the work that we are called to do. In the second reading, we hear again that Jesus will triumph. Finally, in the Gospel, through the story of Jesus meeting Peter fishing, we are reminded of Jesus’ forgiveness and our responsibility to serve others.  The racial riots in Los Angeles is another reason to know that we still have an unjust society and that we must confront those injustices if we say that we are true witnesses of Jesus. What are our present day events that show the injustices that remain?  How are we changing societal structures and ensuring that all people are included?  These are the questions that we must consistently ask ourselves as believers in Jesus’ Resurrection.

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 16, 1990

Readings: Sirach 27: 30-28:7; Romans 14: 7-9; Matthew 18: 21-35

Today’s Gospel challenge to us is to forgive, just as Jesus always forgives us.  We must remember that God came in the form of His son, Jesus, and although he was crucified, in his dying breath, He said, “Father forgive them…”  May we be reminded of this example and forgive as Jesus forgives. This doesn’t mean to forget, but rather to remember and still forgive.