The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

3rd Week of Lent

Date: 
Tue, 03/06/2018
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Today’s gospel is about forgiveness.
Forgiveness is about cancelling debts; it is about the remission of sins.
It is about freeing our neighbor, releasing him/her from the obligation incurred by some offense,
some sin that has been committed against us.
To forgive is to give up resentment, our ill will.
It is to choose to give up our feelings of annoyance, bitterness, and/or irritation toward the other.
Jesus is very specific when he instructs his disciples about forgiveness.
It can’t be just any forgiveness.   He calls for a specific type of forgiveness.
Jesus states:  “you must forgive your neighbor from your heart”.
Evidently, this doesn’t always happen.
 
When speaking of the heart Jesus isn’t referring to the physical organ
that pumps blood through the human body.  He’s referring to something else.
 
He is referring to the innermost part of the person.
As we look at each other we see a person’s outer appearance.
When God looks at a human being, God sees into the heart….
God sees into that place where human thoughts and feelings have their source.
God sees into that place out of which the human spirit emerges….where the soul exists…
that place where our mental and spiritual powers issue forth.
Let’s say our consciousness and the collection of our memories is like a lake.
The heart can be likened to a spring of water that feeds the lake.
The heart is the source of the water that fills the lake.
 
This heart, our heart, is given to us by God.
Out of this heart comes understanding and insight and knowledge.
Out of this heart comes bravery and courage.
This heart is where our thoughts dwell, both good thoughts and evil thoughts.
From this heart comes our planning, our dreaming.
Also from this heart comes our sense of purpose and meaning.
Rooted in this heart is our character, our will.
Another way of referring to this heart is to call it our “inner being”.
Renewal of our heart occurs when our will is inclined in the right direction.
True, authentic, genuine commitment comes from the heart.
 
Our moral conduct is rooted in the heart.
The heart is where we make a decision for God or against God.
As we serve God hopefully we do so, not just according to appearance,
not just according to what can be seen on the outside.
But we serve God with our whole heart.  With all these things I’ve mentioned above.
We are called to be faithful to God with our whole heart.
We are called to love God with our whole heart.
In turn, our heart is that place where God bears witness to Himself,
where God reveals Himself and His love to us.
And today we are called to forgive our brothers and sisters
from our heart and with our whole heart.
This includes an ongoing resolve to face and overcome our resistance to forgiveness.
 
Our prayer today:  “Help us, O Lord, as we struggle to forgive the sins of our neighbor.  Inspire us to follow the example of Your Son Jesus Christ.  Fortify our hearts with Your kindness and mercy.  Amen!”