September 17, 2023
Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Receiving and Giving
Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive?
Matthew 18:21

I can never hear today’s parable without being troubled. The question it poses is direct and unambiguous, and it cuts to the quick. How is it that, aware as I am of how much God has forgiven me, I so begrudge the extension of that forgiveness to others? When it comes to these things, I am too much the miser—carefully calculating the harm suffered and then nursing my grievance.

Receiving and giving is the very logic and dynamic of the Christian life, and that’s why forgiveness is so much at the heart of it. We have received the grace to act toward others the way God acts with us. If I fail to forgive, then I short-circuit this gracious loop of receiving and giving. I set myself up as an idol, judging others with a harshness that belies the mercy God offers to me over and over again.

Lord, help me to forgive others as you have forgiven me.

- Fr. Dennis Gallagher, A.A.

Sirach 27:30—28:7 • Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12 • Romans 14:7-9 • Matthew 18:21-35
Father and son stand at the cross. Generative AI. Image by Daniel | Adobe Stock
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Comments

Juan Gilberto Q Respond to comment
June 14, 2024 at 03:17 PM

In the voyage of life, where the tides of time ebb and flow, we often seek a compass to guide us through storms and serene seas alike. The belief that God is our co-captain serves as a beacon of hope and a testament to faith, illuminating the path during the darkest nights and foggiest mornings. It is a partnership where one is never alone, a sacred alliance that reassures the soul that every twist and turn is part of a grander plan. Through joyous peaks and sorrowful valleys, this divine co-captain steers with an unseen hand, instilling courage to face the unknown and wisdom to embrace life’s lessons. In this evocative painting that Jo Emma did, and is proudly on display in our den, is a metaphorical representation and its purpose is to inspire contemplation and evoke a sense of spiritual resilience and to remind us that God is our co-captain. The ship symbolizes our journey through life—a voyage filled with trials, uncertainties, and unexpected storms. As the vessel faces tempests, it remains steadfast, guided by an unwavering trust. And the ship’s course is not determined solely by its own strength or skill; rather, it relies on divine guidance. The message is clear: faith acts as the compass, steering us through adversity and tranquility alike. Even when the waters rage, there is a quiet assurance that we are not alone. I invite you to reflect on your own journeys. How do you navigate the rough seas? Do you trust in something greater than yourself? The painting encourages us to find solace in faith, knowing that we are guided, protected, and never abandoned—even when the waves threaten to engulf us. As the journey of our life unfolds, the presence of a celestial navigator offers comfort that transcends the physical realm. In moments of triumph, gratitude flows effortlessly, acknowledging the guiding light that led to success. In times of despair or grief, the gentle whisper of divine reassurance echoes, “Fear not, for I am with you,” transforming burdens into blessings. The concept of God as my co-captain is a profound reminder that in life’s intricate tapestry, every thread is woven with purpose, and every experience is an opportunity to grow closer to the essence of all creation, navigating through life’s tapestry with unwavering faith and enduring love for Almighty God who is our Co-Captain.

September 17, 2023 at 11:06 PM

Thank you Father Dennis for an honest and soul searching reflection. Yes, I sin and the Lord forgives me and I sin again and the Lord forgives me and again and again. Why would I be so arrogant to think that I don’t need to forgive someone who hurts me when Our blessed Lord forgives unconditionally. Thank you, Lord Jesus for your Loving Forgiveness and I pray that I will try to imitate your Life of total mercy and compassion. Love to all the LFF and their families and have a blessed night.

September 17, 2023 at 08:29 PM

I must forgive I must forgive I must forgive. I must give grace I must give grace I must give grace. Jesus I Trust in You Jesus I Trust in You Jesus I Trust in You Amen Amen Amen

September 17, 2023 at 04:14 PM

Thank you Father Dennis. Oh how I hate to admit that I at times feel entitled to forgiveness, yet I find it so challenging to grant it to others. Such a hypocrite I am. Wishing Vincent a blessed Sunday. Sending warmth and light to all those who need their path to become clear. Amen.

September 17, 2023 at 04:06 PM

Sending light to all those in Libya and Morocco, may they rescue those who are stranded and console those remain. Continued prayers for the Ukraine, those suffering in Russia and the Sudan, and also for the strength, courage and resilience of our brothers and sisters all over the world who are suffering after natural disasters. Father in Heaven, have mercy on us and on the whole world! You sent Your Son, the Prince of Peace, for the salvation of the world. We pray that the Peace of Christ will reign in Ukraine, Russia and Sudan. Please protect and send aid to those in need and all who are at-risk. We pray for peace and rebuilding– we who are working towards it and for all those who are suffering or in danger from conflicts. We pray for an end to violence and war – we pray for wisdom for all leaders who have a hand in this. Lord God please help those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

September 17, 2023 at 03:06 PM

Thank you, Fr. Dennis, for today's message. Jesus prayed. Alot! In fact, he gave us only one prayer. And we recite it over many times in our life. In part, Forgive us our trespasses......AS.....we forgive those who trespass against us. NOT...when we get around to it or how can I get back at someone who did me wrong. If we don't forgive, who suffers the most?

September 17, 2023 at 11:39 AM

Good Morning to you, Vincent, and all the Living Faith family. Sending prayers for all those who need them so much. Heading off to Mass, such a beautiful day the Lord has given us. Blessings to all. May we all share this beautiful love the Lord has given us.

September 17, 2023 at 11:19 AM

Amen God bless you all

September 17, 2023 at 11:04 AM

Amen.

September 17, 2023 at 10:41 AM

Amen.

September 17, 2023 at 10:03 AM

Thank you Fr. Dennis..... Thanks Salina for breaking down what is means to forgive others as Christ forgives us our transgressions over and over and over At the end of each day, I solemnly ask the Lord to forgive me for all my sins of that day...blessed Sunday everyone

September 17, 2023 at 09:16 AM

Receiving and giving - the key to a grace-filled, peaceful life. Jesus gave all so that we might live. What can we give in return? His gifts of forgiveness, compassion, mercy and Justice.

September 17, 2023 at 09:01 AM

Forgiveness ????

September 17, 2023 at 07:46 AM

You see, If I am a good person…why would I sin and when did I sin? You see, if I am a good person…why can I say I am a better person than the persons who sin against me? You see, if I am a good person…why do I need forgiveness from God? *** You see, I am not a good person!!! I cannot compare myself with others; I need to compare myself with Jesus; And I fall short every time I compare myself with Jesus! *** So I am no better sinner than anyone; Any sin is sin against God; Any sin against God deserves death! *** I am a sinner saved by GRACE! I have no excuses not to forgive others who sin against me! ******* Romans 3:23-24, “Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God’s glory. The free gift of God’s grace makes us right with Him. Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free!” Ephesians 2:8-9, “God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it.” Colossians 3:12-14, “You are God’s chosen people. You are holy and dearly loved. So put on tender mercy and kindness as if they were your clothes. Don’t be proud. Be gentle and patient. Put up with one another. Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you. And over all these good things put on love. Love holds them all together perfectly as if they were one.” Amen!!!

Kathy J
September 17, 2023 at 09:58 AM

Compare myself to Jesus and I am a sinner saved by GRACE! Thank you Salina, many blessings for your daughters and family. Happy Sunday LFF❤️

Father and son stand at the cross. Generative AI. Image by Daniel | Adobe Stock
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