Anger and Unforgiveness

Homily for Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Sometimes I find myself sitting through Mass, listening to the words of Scripture being read, and suddenly thinking: how does this reading apply to my life? Other times, it kind of smacks me in the face. This morning’s Gospel is pretty easy for all of us to relate to, I think.

All of us have, at one point or another in our lives, found it difficult to forgive someone. All of us have experienced situations in life where we said things to others or about others who have hurt us that we shouldn’t. Jesus speaks to us today about real human circumstances – anger and unforgiveness. 

It can really be a challenge for us to forgive those who have hurt us. Often times, we sit there and we think about the situation over and over again. We might wonder why someone would do that to us when we wouldn’t think about doing it to them. Or we replay the situation over in our heads a million times thinking about how we should have responded. In the end, it really only makes the anger and the hurt more palpable and only perpetuates a lack of forgiveness toward that person or group of people. 

Instead of going down the rabbit hole of thinking about last hurts in our minds, this morning’s Gospel reminds us to bring those things to the Lord, to open our hearts to Him about the hurt we have experienced and to bring Him into our inability to forgive. Jesus reminds us that we have to seek to offer forgiveness and to find some sort of reconciliation with others. Those two things are key to healing from old wounds. But we can’t do that, without the Lord. 

We won’t find true and lasting inner peace until we choose to forgive others. In fact, through actively seeking to forgive, we lay claim to peace. We take back what was lost, and we are restored. It’s about our hearts, not the other person’s.

This morning, if you find yourself struggling to forgive someone, bring that to the Lord. Think about that person or that situation during the Eucharistic Prayer. And when the Body and Blood of our Lord are elevated, ask the Lord to bring healing to that part of your heart, ask Him to open your heart to embrace a desire to forgive. Ask Him to bless that person with an abundance of His grace. Ask Him for peace. He wants to heal our hearts. Will we let Him? 

Photo: Alex Shute on Unsplash. Used under Unsplash license.

Published by Fr. Tom Pringle

Priest of the Diocese of Orlando. Parochial Vicar at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Indialantic.

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