Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March 1, 2016 Tuesday: Divine Mercy Week 5

March 1, 2016 Tuesday: Divine Mercy Week 5

How forgiving of a person are you? Today’s Gospel strikes the heart of that question as Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”

A priest shared this story about his conversation with a 4th grade student at a Catholic School. As he chatted with a young boy, the priest asked him, ‘What are you giving up for Lent?’ The boy replied, ‘I’m the youngest of 9 boys, and I gave up fighting with my brothers for Lent.’ ‘So how is that going,’ the priest asked. The boy replied, ‘It’s going fine…” Then after a long pause, the boy raised his fist and said, ‘But, just wait till Easter comes!’ Doesn’t sound like the boy is very forgiving, does he?

How many of us are like that little boy? Through the parable of the Unmerciful Servant, Jesus is holding a mirror to show us what we are like sometimes. Like the servant who was forgiven a huge debt by his king, we sometimes refuse to forgive a small debt owed to us by another. Whether we realize it or not, all of us are indebted to God; none of us has enough to pay the debt. God is willing to forgive the debt, but the condition of the absolution is that we grant it to those around us.

Priests from our deanery is here for the Sacrament of Reconciliation after the singing of the Chaplet. Before we do so, let’s review the examination of conscience, to see where we owe God a huge debt we cannot pay:

In the areas of Pride: 
Have I judged others, in my thoughts or words?
Have I refused to admit I was wrong?
Have I been arrogant?

In the areas of  Vanity:
Have I been overly concerned about what others think of me? Have I allowed this to motivate my actions?
Have I lied or exaggerated to make myself look good?

In the areas of Lust
Have I viewed other people as mere sexual objects rather than as persons to be loved?
Have I viewed pornography: On internet? or TV?
Have I entertained impure thoughts or impure acts?

In the areas of Anger
Have I harboured resentment, grudges, and hatred in my thoughts?
Have I been impatient with people, family, events, sufferings, sicknesses?

In the areas of Covetousness
Have I been overly concerned about my own comfort and well-being?
Have I wasted money?
Have I used people for my own ends and advantage?

In the area of Envy
Have I envied or been jealous of the abilities, talents, ideas, good-looks, intelligence, clothes, possessions, money, friends, family, of another?
Have I repeated accusations that might not be true? Have I exaggerated?
Have I failed to keep secrets?

In the areas of Sloth and Apathy
Have I got so caught up in the things of this world that I’ve forgotten God?
Have I risked losing my faith/piety by bad company, bad reading, cowardice, or pride?
Have I trusted God, especially in times of difficulty?
Have I attended Mass every Sunday?

In the areas of Gluttony
Have I eaten excessively or drunk alcohol excessively?
Have driven after drinking?
Have I given money to help the hungry?

Lent is a time for us to honestly and humbly admit that we need a course correction. Let us ask God to forgive us of our debt which we cannot pay so as to forgive others who owe us much smaller debt.
-Fr. Paul Yi