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Friday, 14 June 2013

Reflection/Homily: Eleventh (11th) Sunday of the Year C (June 16 2013)

Reflection/Homily: Eleventh (11th) Sunday of the Year C (June 16 2013)
Theme: “I AM SORRY”

In human relationships we discover that one of the most difficult things to do is to say “I am Sorry”. Relationships break, opportunities are lost, enemies are made just because one party couldn’t say “I am Sorry”. The difficulty here does not lie in pronouncing the words but in accepting responsibility for the guilt done. “I am Sorry” is more than an expression, it is a disposition. Simply put, it is an attitude of recognizing one’s guilt before another and the readiness to make amend. In the first reading (2 Sam. 12:7-10.13), we see this attitude in the action of David who was confronted by the Prophet Nathan for his sins. David not only slept with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, he took her for a wife and conspired to have him killed with the sword of the Ammonites.

When the prophet Nathan approached David for this abominable act, David did not make any effort to defend himself. Instead, he realized and acknowledged his guilt, asked for forgiveness and spent days in fasting and prayer. As a result of this, God forgave his guilt and today he is known as the man after God’s heart. In his action, we see David’s humility, sincerity and contrite heart despite his lofty position as king. 

In the gospel reading (Lk. 7:36-8:3), we also see this attitude of “I am Sorry” in the actions of the sinful woman. Well aware of her sins, she sought for an opportunity to ask for pardon and God granted her the opportunity of encountering Christ.  Aware that words would be inadequate to describe her sins, she resorted to actions and with her tears she washed the feet of Jesus. She dried them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. She wanted to give back to God the love she has abused by her sinfulness and Christ forgave her sins because of her faith and love.

Beloved friends, today we are challenged to adopt this attitude of reconciliation by learning to say “I am Sorry” either by words or by action when we go wrong. There are two paths to this attitude of reconciliation: the path of repentance and the path of love. The path of repentance helps us to acknowledge our sins with sincerity and humility while the path of love helps us to restore the relationship we have broken. Pride is one thing we should avoid for any reconciliation to take place. Pride is the feeling of vain glory. It makes us seek to justify our evil deeds and often excuse ourselves for the same sins we condemn others for. It opens our eyes to see the faults of others but prevents us from seeing our wretchedness and that was the fault of Simon the Pharisee in the gospel reading.

Today, we are invited to reconcile with one another especially those we have wounded by our faults. Like David, perhaps we may have snatched other people’s wives, husbands, friends, success, progress, etc. It is time to say “I am Sorry” and begin to make amends. Like the sinful woman, we have also broken our relationship with God and it is time to ask for forgiveness. Though sin may give us pleasure, such pleasure is cancerous to the soul until it is healed. The Church avails us of the opportunity to receive this healing at the confessional which opens up for us the treasures of divine grace. With this grace, we can now join St. Paul in the second reading (Gal. 2:16.19-21) to say “it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me”. Therefore, let us pray for the grace to be sensitive to our faults unlike the Pharisee and to quickly show signs of repentance like David and the sinful woman did. God loves you.

*** While wishing you God's abundant blessings, I request for your prayers to enable me grow in holiness, virtue and the communicable knowledge of God.

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