By Love's Hand

By Love's Hand

Fierce  Female Network And The We’73 Project

Vol 8 July 2024

Deacon Richard Benkovic’s July Homily

After reading this passage from the gospel, “Amen, I say to you all sin and blasphemes that people utter with be forgiven. The one word that stood out for me was forgiveness. It got me thinking. Many years ago in college, the professor in our sociology class gave us an assignment. We were asked  to make a list of anything in our past that we felt ashamed of, guilty about, incomplete about or something we regretted doing. The next time we met the professor invited anyone in the class to read their list aloud. If you think I am a shy person now you should have seen me back then there was no way I was going to raise my hand, but there are always a few brave souls in the class that would volunteer. As the students read their list of regrets, the list that I had was getting longer and longer as it brought up memories of past things that I had done. At the end of the class the professor gave us our next assignment, it was to find ways to make amends, apologize to people or take some action to right and wrongdoings. At the next class the professor asked again for any volunteers to read how they were going to make amends. A student next to me raised his hand and read that he and three of his classmates in their senior year of high school slipped out of school one day and let the air out of the tires of a teacher’s car who gave them a hard time in class. The student then told our class that he went back to his high school and told the teacher that he was one of the students who let the air out of his tires. The teacher told him that he knew all the four students who did it and that the other three students had already apologized to him. The teacher thanked him for coming forward and admitting what he had done. The teacher knew how hard it is sometimes to confess ones gilt and ask for forgiveness.

While it is challenging for us to ask forgiveness it is also challenging to forgive those who have hurt us. The really great thing about the parable today is that it tells us that God’s forgiveness is never ending. God’s forgiveness of us cost the body and blood of Jesus. So even though we may sometimes struggle to forgive others, God is always waiting to forgive us. So have no fear in approaching Jesus for his mercy. He is always waiting for you to come to him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There, Jesus is waiting to pour out on you his mercy and forgiveness, to make you a new person with a new beginning.

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