Forgiveness

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 12, 1993

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

In this week’s homily, we hear of the atrocity of a supporter of Haitian President Aristide being dragged out of a Mass being said by Fr. Antoine Adrien and murdered.  We are also reminded of the history taking place in Yugoslavia.  Despite these global injustices, and even with our personal pains and grievances, we are, as Christians, called to forgive, just as God forgives us.  Indeed, the message is clear: God is forgiveness.  What about you?

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on July 4, 1993

Readings: Zechariah 9:9-10;  Romans 8:9, 11-13; Matthew 11:25-30

What does it mean to be a citizen of God’s Kingdom?  From the fist reading of Zechariah, we hear that God would put an end to war, jealousy, and human competition. In the second reading, Paul reminds the Romans and us today, that we must walk in the spirit. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us to learn from Him just as children learn.  That is, we are to be gentle and humble of heart.  We are challenged to reflect on how capital punishment fits with our being citizens of God’s Kingdom. If we really believe in the unconditional, all-embracing forgiveness of Jesus, we cannot harbor vindictive, hostile dispositions toward anyone. Let us all learn from Jesus and forgive others. Only in this way, will be truly free, in the way that Jesus talks about freedom, and find rest in our hearts.

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.