Thursday 17 August 2023

About Today Readings

Joshua 3:7-11, 13-17. Alleluia! – Psalm 113(114):1-6. Matthew 18:21 – 19:1.

Grace and mercy

Pope Francis often talks about forgiveness. He knows that it isn’t easy. Indeed, the very grace for which most people long eludes them, often because we live in a world which has lost any shared narrative of forgiveness and mercy. It seems we only have legal remedies and, while these are important, they are hardly the same thing. Sometimes they can bind people in chains rather than set them free, as they truly hope. Pope Francis has described forgiveness as a ‘basic human right’. He asks us to do all we can to release even people who have hurt us.

As always, today’s Gospel shows that Jesus has a profound understanding of human nature. We like to carry grudges and have power over others. When Jesus refers to forgiving somebody ‘seventy-seven times’ he is describing an entire lifestyle, one we are called to live ‘from your heart’. Grace and mercy are the basics of our spiritual diet.

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