Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2017
The Spirit of Forgiveness and love for the one another:
The First reading taken from the book of Leviticus and the Gospel of Matthew this Sunday challenge us in a very radical way. The first reading says, "You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart. Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen, do not incur sin because of him.” And the Gospel echoes the same message when Matthew tells us “For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
These two readings captured the spirit of forgiveness and love for one another. As I had mentioned earlier, this is a radical challenge because any day of our lives, there is a possibility of experiencing, or encountering a sad situation. It could be with our family members, friends, members of our community or even with strangers that may set us off. In some of these occasions, we are truly wronged and we have every justification to be upset and angry. But today, God understands our human weaknesses, hence he invites us to come to the understanding that, it is just in such sad situations that our Christian faith is called to action. There is an adage that says, “To err is human; but to forgive is divine”. Surely, by our human effort it is hard to easily overlook what may have been acts of injustice to us, but we need the grace of God, which means, we have to be conscious that we sometimes grieve over our disappointments and then seek God’s
help in prayer, which is grace, so that we can be able to love our enemy despite the fact the we have been so badly hurt.
My brothers and sisters, this is a big challenge for us, but with prayer and personal effort we will be able to achieve the spirit of forgiveness and love for the one another. In Christ, Father Uche Obikwelu