Up early to get all the kids to school. I think we have finally figured out the final pieces of the routes (thanks, Chris and Rhonda...you are angels!) Will never take the bus for granted again...darn budget cuts.
But no hating today. I decided shortly after the day began, there is entirely too much hate in the world. After dealing with the school and permissions, I ran into Mass a little late, but still wondering about the abundance of motorcycles and action in the parking lot. A lot motorcycle dudes were putting up flags. The priest told us there was to be a funeral. A quick google search made it clearer. A soldier had fallen, a church planned to protest, and these wonderful men wanted to honor him and his family by ensuring no one harassed them. Why would you want to harass a grieving family.
Anyway, I got into Mass and pulled out the missal and saw that it was the feast day of St. Peter Claver. He isn't a saint I was immediately familiar with, but one I will be learning about. According to our pastor, he was a Spaniard who was called to come to the Americas and work with black individuals who were captured for slavery and shipped over here to be sold. St. Claver working by himself baptised more than 300,000 individuals and gave many of them their last rites. What a ministry...
I was saddened by the events of my early morning, but a little angry as well. How can people be so blind as to commit such horrible acts against each other. Today's gospel talks about taking the plank out of my own eye so that I can see to take the splinter out of my brother's eye. For real...how many times do I have to do that!!?
The Gospel Reading for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 18: 21 - 35
21 Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?"
22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
23 "Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.
24 When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents;
25 and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, `Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.'
27 And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
28 But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.'
29 So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.'
30 He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt.
31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.
32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me;
33 and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?'
34 And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt.
35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."
all bible verses from EWTN
God has the answer for all of our questions if we care to look. Sometimes, I must admit, I would rather feed the embers of my anger. But Jesus tells us the only way to have our own sins forgiven is to forgive others...over and over and over...I can do that, too. I have already prayed for the souls of the bigots who pulled young black men and women away from their homes and forced them to live in slavery. I even pray for the bigot's today who harass my children because they aren't the same color as most of the kids in the neighborhood. I will also pray for the people who think that because they don't believe in this war they have the right to harass the families of the soldiers who gave their lives to this country. I believe in big gestures...that is easy. Its the day to day forgiveness that I am asked to do that eats away at my soul...Yeah, I know you are in a hurry to get to work, but I didn't make this line--the school board did when they canceled our buses. Really, you forgot your lunch..again? Yeah, I know the laundry is still on the couch; did you notice the other three loads I put away?
Lord, remind me to yank the tree out of my own eye so I can see my brother. Help me to always feel compassion and love for him, whether he is is my child, my husband, or that lady in the big SUV who always tries to pull in front of me. I know that my faults number many and I know that You forgive them completely. Help me to not only forgive my brothers but to feel that forgiveness and always show the love that is due them...amen
Finally, Please say a prayer for PFC Michael C. Roberts, a 23 year old who gave his life for our freedom, his family, and all our military.