HOMILY FOR THE MEMORIAL OF SAINT CLARE
BY: FR. JUSTIN NZEKWE
HOMILY FOR THURSDAY AUGUST 11 2022
Forgiveness is one of the most important quality of being a Christian. It is also one of the most painful thing to do. We all want to see those who offend us get an appropriate revenge for all their evils. We want to see our enemies suffer. It is in the nature of human being to seek a revenge each time they feel hurt. Even in the Old Testament, an eye for an eye was permitted by Moses, because of the stubbornness of the people. Jesus reverses the whole teaching on forgiveness. We all offend God, and Jesus in the “Our Father”, made forgiveness a condition for God to forgive us our sins. He sets an example with Himself on the cross. When Jesus was being persecuted on the cross at Calvary, he prayed: “Lord forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”.
In today’s gospel, Jesus teaches his anxious disciples on the right time they should seek revenge. When they asked him, “Lord, if my brother commits sins against me, how many times will I have to forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus replied to them, “I don’t tell you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Jesus is indirectly telling them never to revenge. Many of us have still not forgiveness those who offended them many years ago. But the irony is that sometimes we swear never to forgive someone who offend us, without knowing that there is someone else where who have also sworn never to forgive you for offending him or her also. The stronger person forgives, but the weaker person do not. When we forgive others, we also lift the burden out from our soul.
As we celebrate the memorial of Saint Clare, we ask through her intercession that God will melt our hearts and give us the strength to forgive those who offend us, so that when we pray, God in heaven may also forgive our own offenses.
Fr. Justin Nzekwe