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Sunday, September 12, 2004

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24th Sunday Ordinary Time

Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Psalm 51
Luke 15:1-32

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the cancer hardest to get

"While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was deeply moved. He ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him." —Luke 15:20

Unforgiveness is like cancer. If we don't "get it all," it will eventually kill us. Therefore, we should focus on the person we are least willing to forgive.

Sometimes the "worst offenders" are our worst problem (see 1 Tm 1:15). We need to be willing to accept God's grace to forgive the cruelest murderers, rapists, and terrorists. Only by the grace of Jesus can we forgive anyone, in particular these worst offenders.

Sometimes the "repeat offenders" present the most formidable challenge. Yet Jesus commands us to forgive seventy times seven times (Mt 18:22). His grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9).

For many people, the closest offenders are the worst. Spouses, children, parents, or people we see every day have the greatest potential to hurt us. How humanly impossible it is to forgive prodigal children and prodigal brothers! (see Lk 15:28)

Which person are you least willing to forgive? Right now, turn to Jesus and say: "Only by Your grace, Jesus, I decide to forgive the person I am least willing to forgive." The cancer of unforgiveness is totally gone. You can live with Jesus forever.

Prayer:  Father, thank You for the miracle of forgiveness. Make me a minister of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18).

Promise:  "So the Lord relented in the punishment He had threatened to inflict on His people." —Ex 32:14

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who forgave us as He cried out on the cross, "Father, forgive them! They know not what they do!"

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Unforgiveness is the Cause or on audio AV 41-1 or video V-41. Also order our leaflet Fourteen Questions on Forgiveness or on audio AV 106A-1, AV 106A-3, AV 106B-1 or video V-106A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004