Short homily for Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Lent
By: Fr. Francis Onwnali
Homily for Tuesday March 9 2021
The theme of today’s readings is “Forgiveness”. This is presented in two challenging ways. 1) To honestly and humbly ask for God’s forgiveness. 2) To unconditionally extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
The first reading (Dan 3: 25, 34-43) recounts the story of Daniel and his three young friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who were thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship the idol presented by the king. In his prayer, Azariah cried to God to have mercy not only on themselves, but to have mercy upon all his people. “Do not put us to shame, but deal with us in your forbearance and in your abundant mercy”.
In the gospel (Matt 18: 21-35), Jesus, in answer to Peter’s question on forgivess said we should forgive as often as we are offended. Very difficult indeed! He went further to tell the parable of an ungrateful and unforgiving servant. This servant owed an enormous sum of money and his master, the king forgave him all when he pleaded, however, he was unable to do same to a fellow servant who owed him a very small and insignificant amount. In anger, the king ordered that all the forgiven debt be revoked and such will God do to us unless we forgive one another.
Dear friends, the debt we owe due to our sins is enormous and in no way can we earn forgiveness. It is only but a gift given out of mercy and compassion, for God’s “mercies never come to an end… they are new every morning (Lam.3: 22-23). If God has forgiven each of us our own debt, which was very great, we, too must forgive others the debt they owe us.
I pray as we journey in life today, we will humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness and pray for the grace to courageously extend same to those who hurt us. “Blessed are those who, with a noble and generous heart, take the word of God to themselves and yeild a harvest through their perseverance” (Lk 8: 15). Have a forgiveness-full day!
Fr. Francis Onwnali