Monday, March 2, 2015

Sir Isaac Newton has something to say about forgiveness: Daily Mass Homily--Monday, March 2nd, 2015

(Listen to this homily here).

            Newton’s third law of motion is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Why do I bring up this physics fact, you may ask?  The same law applies to our spiritual lives.
            We had a purposeful pairing of our readings today.  First we hear a public confession from Daniel: “We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws.”  Note the we Daniel refers to is not only the Israelites from centuries ago—it includes us as well.  We have sinned.  We have been wicked.  We have done evil.
            In the responsorial Psalm we join the sacred author in pleading to God for forgiveness: “Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.”  Lent is a time to intentionally ask for forgiveness for our sins, especially by coming to Confession.
            Yet here is where Newton’s law in physics is paralleled in our spiritual and moral lives.  We are only forgiven to the extent that we forgive: “Stop judging and you will not be judged.  Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.  Forgive and you will be forgiven.”  God’s infinite mercy and forgiveness is available to all, but “the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you…”
            As we continue with Mass—the place for mercy and forgiveness—let’s take forgiveness seriously.  Who has wronged us in the past?  Who do we struggle to forgive?  In a special way, offer up that person as we pray again in the Lord’s Prayer, “…forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

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