Forum - 24th Sun. Ordinary Time, Sept. 17/17

Posts in Topic: 24th Sun. Ordinary Time, Sept. 17/17
2017-09-15, 13:54:48#1

Join Date: 2010-02-05
Location: Peterborough
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24th Sun. Ordinary Time, Sept. 17/17

The 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time: September 17/17

Scripture: Matthew 18:21... in this gospel passage Matthew has Jesus talking about the kingdom of heaven, or the kingdom of God, and we read that Jesus constantly refer to the kingdom of God and that his first priority, his first concert in, his first love, was to awaken people so that they would know they were dating in kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of all heaven was now not after they died. For many people this seems like good news that was not believable and as a result, the idea of living in the kingdom of heaven now, really does not radically change the way they live. For the most part many believers are still focusing on life after death, of going to have, instead of living as a heavenly person in a year and now.

In the first reading from Sirach we read about the various sins that people might commit. Anger and wrath are called abominations, again we read if a person feels so have mercy towards another, and then he says remember at the end of life and be truly coming months now for God the most high overlooks faults. So when the Old Testament itself we see that God is not a punishing God but God who overlooks faults

In the Gospel Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to two different actions coming from the same person because the kingdom of heaven is within not in the external world. We read that one slave appeals to his master for forgiveness which his master gives to him. This shows one side of the Masters personality, is a side of compassion, aside gentleness, a side of empathy, aside it is more interested in reconciliation than punishment. The other side of the same man shows again also be very punitive as a punishing us the unforgiving slave who was not forgive his debtor. It sort of brings home to us that inner struggle, the paradox, the ambiguity in our own personality and life. There can be a tendency within its to be harsh, Judge mental and punitive. So we see in this parable that most humans live with this tension between compassion and forgiveness and they ought to allow to compassion and a tendency to punish. It is a struggle we all have in our daily life.

Really put this in the context of our relationship with God in whom we live and move and have our being we see that God is the God of compassion and unconditional love will does not take offense. The parable of the prodigal son teaches us very clearly that the forgiving father, a symbol for God, has not nor does he in the reading judge and punish his son. He just has prodigal son was unconditional love and simply does not take offense and so he has no need to forgive his son and his son does not need forgiveness. He has to recognize the unconditional love of his father and simply be grateful. This helps us in our struggle with the paradox of compassion/judgment and as we work this out in our daily life, on the one hand, it helps us to live with the paradox knowing that some days we may be very kind, forgiving, reconciling, not taking offense. Other days, we may find ourselves judging, acting without compassion, even going so far as to punish someone for their transgressions. However, we live with the knowledge and the awareness that when we turn to God, the God of unconditional love, God has made not taking offense at our failures too love, are fated to be forgiving, our failures to be punitive. God does not take offense and this is part of the good news from today's Gospel and the first reading. What a difference it would make in our eyes if people who believed in God could believe in a god that does not take offense, it would list a heavy burden off people's back, it would give people a great freedom to live and to love and not to be burdened down with fear and guilt and this is the freedom of the people of God.

I pray you develop as a person, mature enough, to live with the paradox within your own life, the paradox of the tension between loving and forgiving/failures in love and punishing. In times of the failures God does not take offense but rather like the forgiving father who welcomed his son home with a party sold on does not take offense at your failures but rather God desires that you living in the kingdom of heaven know this and as a result not been loaded down with guilt and fear you have the freedom to do better next time with the grace of God helping you in the various situations of your life.