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posted 15 Sep 2017, 07:04 by Veronica Yarwood

 

17th Sept. 2017 – 24th Sunday of the Year

 

(After Brendan McConvery, CSsR. Scripture in Church No. 139)

 

Radical forgiveness is the hallmark of Christianity.

Radicalforgiveness reaches down into the heart, mind and spirit.

Radical forgiveness wants to transform our enemy into our

beloved friend. Peter is the first recipient of Jesus' radical

forgiveness. Peter learns about forgiveness in a deeply personal

way. Peter experiences the radical, joyful newness-of the Gospel

of forgiveness. Forgiveness liberates the sinner and it liberates

the offended. Radical forgiveness is radical freedom.

We find ourselves invited to a fundamental attitude that exclude

revenge and resentment. Caught in the cycle of revenge and

offence we live a life of bondage. Like Robbie Burns' account

of a woman sitting by the fire awaiting her husband's return

from a night out with friends, 'nursing her wrath to keep it

warm'. It is so easy to nurse our wrath in so many subtle ways,

both conscious and unconscious.

 

Forgetting, exercising a healthy control of one's memory is the

first step to forgiveness. We make room for the bigger picture

by healthy memory control. Neighbour, superior, parent, child,

teacher, pupil; whoever sins against us is set free and we are

liberated by letting the memory go. Life is too short to be

corroded with bitterness. "Remember the last things and stop

hating." (Ecc 'us: 28.7) But apart altogether from issues like

death, judgement, hell and heaven, the fact is that life is just too

short. To live in the shadow of revenge, nurturing slights and

insults, constantly on the watch to get even, is to opt for a

hopelessly limited existence that excludes true joy. Non‑

forgiveness is the ultimate in pollution of mind and heart and

will.

 

Besides, the Gospel note is one of evermore radical forgiveness.

And it is only possible when we are grasped by the mystery of

the Kingdom. We reach into the depths of the Gospel demand

and find a well of forgiveness. The power of healing is release

in us and in our community. We begin to understand the Lord

Jesus when he says, "the kingdom of heaven is like 'a story of

generous forgiveness'."

 

So "Forgiveness is the beginning, the middle and the end of

gospel life. It is the energy of being forgiven that first buoys

up. It is the experience of being forgiven. . . that renews our

flagging spirit. It is profound. (Infinite in positive possibility.)

Forgiveness is the supreme work of God for the recreation of a

things: Nothing new happens without it."
(Richard Rohr: Radical Grace)
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