Today we celebrate the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In the first section of today’s Gospel account from Luke, one of the disciples has a request of Jesus. It is: “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” So, Jesus teaches them to pray to “Our Father in heaven.” The words differ a bit when comparing them with Matthew’s account of Jesus teaching the Lord’s Prayer. The one difference that struck me is how the prayer ends (in Luke’s account today): forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us. That is a bold statement. In this prayer we tell God that we have forgiven everyone (so he should forgive us our sins). Is that possible? If we prayed those words today, would we be speaking the truth? Would our prayer be authentic? I suspect we all fall short of forgiving everyone. If we forgave everyone, our hearts would be free of grudges, of continuing to criticize persons for what they have done in the past, and of seeking revenge. Forgiveness isn’t about forgetting a transgression, but about “letting go” of it and getting beyond it. It takes a “big” person, a holy person open to God’s grace to do that. Jesus showed us how to forgive everyone. Let us follow his example during this Jubilee Year of Mercy.
This Saturday we welcome Father Randy Kelly who is celebrating the 4:00 PM Eucharist. He is graciously substituting for Father Jim who is celebrating a wedding liturgy in another parish. Father Jim will be with us on Sunday. This past week he returned from Houston and celebrated all our weekday Masses after having attended the annual convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians of which he is a board member.
Please keep the Sisters of Saint Joseph in prayer as we celebrate our Jubilee Mass with Bishop Paul Bradley this Sunday.
Blessings in your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ