BEGGARS BEFORE GOD: Forgiving
24th Week in Ordinary Time
September 17 & 21 RCIA Session
Psalm 103:1-2,3-4, 9-10,11-12
"Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight. The vengeful will suffer the Lord's vengeance, for he remembers their sins in detail. Forgive your neighbor's injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Could anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the Lord? Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself, can he seek pardon for his own sins? ...Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor; remember the Most High's covenant, and overlook faults." -Sirach 27:30-28:7
SCHEDULE: RCIA Thursdays, 7-9 pm: ROOM LIST
- Adults who wish to inquire about Catholic faith are welcome to meet every Thursday from 7:00-9:00 pm: English-speaking adults meet in the Holy Family Room, Spanish-speaking in the St. Augustine Room.
- High School youth go to the "little gray house" called the PMC or Parish Meeting Center. Seventh and 8th graders go to ROOM 11. Fifth and 6th graders go to ROOM 12. Third and 4th graders go to ROOM 7. First and 2nd graders go to the ART ROOM. Babysitting will be in ROOM 1. Parents go either to the Cafeteria (Spanish spoken) or to the Holy Family Room (English spoken).
FEASTS THIS WEEK:
September 21 - St. Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist, Martyr ; September 23 - St. Padre Pio
PRACTICE THE FAITH: REVERENCE & FORGIVENESS
- Last week we worked on knowing our own sins and telling God we are sorry. This week the READINGS clearly call us to FORGIVE others. FORGIVING OTHERS who have harmed us is one practice to try this week.
- Another practice is the practice of REVERENCE. REVERENCE means we must see and honor the goodness inherent in every person, in creation, even in holy objects - but above all in GOD who made all things, who made all of us, who loves and forgives all of us, even dying on a cross for our sins. This week talk to friends or family about REVERENCE, and then think of ways that you can begin to practice REVERENCE: try one this week. Maybe this week you will start with REVERENCE for God and show your reverence by bowing before God, and by finding stillness in which to open your heart to God.
What does REVERENCE look like...when we have REVERENCE for God, when we have REVERENCE for another person, when we have REVERENCE for all creation, when we have REVERENCE for holy things? Which of these is most important? How are they all related? What might a "false" REVERENCE look like?
CONNECTIONS: Understanding the Tradition
It is impossible to miss the main theme of the readings this week: we are called to FORGIVE one another.
Buried a bit deeper in the reading is the basis of this forgiveness - an understanding of who we are before God. We believe that because God loves each of us, He willed us into existence, and we believe that even now we continue to exist because God's love sustains us in being. We know that God's love is the beginning and end of every human person - the reason we are here at all: all that God made is loved, is good, is wanted. Yet all that is made has been marred, too. Before God, we are ALL beggars -- beautiful and fragile creations that have been damaged by evil and sin. It does not matter to God how damaged we have become, He still wants us back and sees in us the beautiful person He created us each to be - wonderful and good and holy before him. We would never find our way back to God without His help and His mercy. God wants, in turn, that we help our brothers and sisters, loving them always as He does - no matter what they have done to us, or to others.
Watch this story of forgiveness, as told by Eva Kor, Holocaust Survivor.
What stories of hurt and forgiveness have you known in your life or in the life of your family.
What happened that required forgiveness? How did the person come to forgive? Did "reconciliation" result? To what extent was there a reconciliation and what was that like? Do you believe forgiveness is always a possibility? Do you desire forgiveness? Are you willing to forgive? What stops you? What do you believe?