Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 17,1-6
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’
you should forgive him.”
And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
1) Scandal. This is something that worries Luke the Evangelist a great deal, the scandal that Christians are capable of causing in society. We Christians must avoid being a source of scandal. Even the gospel is strong in this sense. Scandalizing innocent and simple people is very hurtful to society. Today, as a Church, we must ask for forgiveness. We have scandalized a lot. I am not only referring to the pedophile priests, but I am also referring to when we, as the Church, are mean to others, when we become rabble rousers, when we run people off for the sake of bureaucracy, and many other situations. Today, let us ask for forgiveness for having provoked many to say today “Jesus yes, Church no.”
2) Correct and forgive. The Gospel shows us that correcting and forgiving are two sides of the same coin. Forgiveness is not a single action. It is part of a process, and it must be accompanied with a belief in the words Jesus told Mary Magdalene “go and sin no more.” Fraternal correction helps the person to change and to gain back his or her dignity. We have the responsibility of accompanying, relieving, encouraging, and bringing back the person to life.
3) Forgiveness is a process and a path. We all have to fight to overcome wounds and grudges that hit our minds and hearts. There are people who hurt us in life and that is hard for us because they have left a difficult inheritance: pain.
Today, let us ask Jesus to help us to forgive in order to continue living this life with strength and to fight to achieve happiness and not to turn away in resentment and pain. May his Spirit soothe and comfort us.
God bless you in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Always remember, Heaven is our goal!