每周講道 Homily >

常年期第24主日 HOMILY 24th Sunday OT A September 17, 2023


常年期第24主日 HOMILY 24rd Sunday OT A September 17, 2023


Fr. Anson Antony


A man was bitten by a dog. Later it was discovered that the dog had rabies. This was back when there was no cure for rabies. His doctor brought him the bad news. “Everything possible will be done to make you comfortable,” he said, “but we cannot offer any false hope. My best advice to you is to put your affairs in order as soon as possible.” The man very calmly got out a piece of paper and began furiously writing. The doctor said: “What are you doing, making out your will?” He said: “Oh no, I’m writing out a list of people I’m going to bite.” — Our subject today is forgiveness. How many times must I forgive someone who has hurt me, abused me, exploited me? That is Simon Peter’s question. How many times? Would seven times be enough? All three readings today remind us of the path to forgiveness, mercy, and reconciliation and challenge us to walk this path with Jesus, the only Way to Life.

Sirach, in the first reading, reminds his listeners that if they don’t heal and forgive and show mercy, they can’t expect to receive mercy from God in return. It is unwise to nurse grudges and wise to forgive because our life span is very short and our eternal destiny is decided by how we forgive, how we work for reconciliation with those who wound us, and how we render humble and loving service to them. In today’s Psalm, (Ps 103), the Psalmist sings, “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness.” In the second reading, Paul reminds us that we have to forgive others because we belong to Christ who, by his own example in forgiving those who killed Him, taught us how we must forgive in our turn. Since we humans are related to each other as brothers and sisters of Jesus, we are in the family of God, so hatred and bitterness toward anyone should have no place in our hearts. In today’s Gospel, through the parable of the two debtors, Jesus teaches us that there should be no limit to our forgiveness and no conditions attached to our reconciliation. We represent the greater debtor in the parable because we commit sins every day and, hence, we need God’s forgiveness every day. But we must forgive in order to be forgiven. Jesus explains, after teaching us the prayer ‘Our Father’, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father also will forgive you. “

Brothers and Sisters, We need to forgive, forget, and be reconciled: In the light of eternity and the shortness of our span of life, harboring old grudges is pointless. Neighbors who remained hostile and unforgiving till their deaths are buried a short distance from one another in the same cemetery. Our ability and willingness to forgive are the measure of the depth of our Christianity. The forgiveness that we offer others is the indispensable condition that makes it possible for us to receive God’s forgiveness and to pray meaningfully: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Let us remember St. Francis of Assisi’s prayer: “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” Our failure to offer pardon means that we have forgotten God’s goodness or have not fully appreciated the unconditional forgiveness we have received from Him. What God expects from us, and offers us grace to give, is limitless forgiving with the ability and willingness to overlook faults and to keep on loving even in the face of insults.

We may never forget the hurt we have experienced, but we can, with His ongoing grace, choose to forgive and pray for our offenders. As life goes on and we remember an incident that was hurtful and roused great anger in us, we need to remind ourselves that, with God’s grace, we have already forgiven the one that hurt us. Time does heal memories. Forgiveness finally changes us from being prisoners of our past to being liberated and at peace with our memories. Forgiveness allows us to move beyond the pain, the resentment, and the anger. When we forgive, we make the choice that heals. We can forgive the offender by wishing him God’s blessings and by offering that individual to God by simply saying, “Help so-and-so and me to mend our relationship.” When we withhold forgiveness, we remain the victim. When we offer forgiveness, we are doing it also for our own well-being.




常年期 (甲年) 第二十四主日 (09/17/2023)
Fr. Anson 主日證道中譯本

讀經一: 德訓篇 27:33 - 28:9
讀經二: 聖保祿宗徒致羅馬人書 14:7-9
聖瑪竇福音 18:21-35



西拉赫在讀經一中提醒羣眾,如果他們不治癒、不寬恕、不表現出憐憫,就不能指望得到上主的憐憫。含恨在心是愚眛的,而寬恕卻是明智的,因為我們的壽數很短,而我們是否能獲永生取決於我們能否寬恕,如何與那些傷害我們的人和解,以及我們如何為他們提供謙卑與愛心的服務。在今天的答唱詠103 篇中,達味唱道:上主富於仁愛寬恕,極其慈悲,緩於發怒。在讀經二中,聖保祿提醒我們,我們必須寬恕別人,因為我們屬於基督,基督以自己的榜樣寬恕了那些殺害他的人,教導我們也應同樣寬恕别人。既然