We are a welcoming and caring community dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
helping each other discover who God is calling us to be.
Forgiveness is never easy.
We can identify with Peter, who wonders how many times he has to forgive someone who harms him. He had to be shocked when Jesus says seventy-seven times, meaning an unlimited number of times. Since most of us have trouble forgiving even once or twice, such a standard is hard to comprehend. To help Peter, and us, understand that we are to forgive so much because we have been forgiven so much, Jesus tells the parable of the servant who owed a great debt to his master.
When we hear this story, we often miss the magnitude of it because we don’t understand the currency. The first servant owed 10,000 talents, which would be about 3.6 billion dollars! When he says he would pay back the debt, Jesus’ audience would have realized that was ridiculous. No one could ever repay such a debt. In contrast, the servant himself was owed 100 denari, which would be about $6,000, a not insubstantial amount, but something that could be repaid in time.
Jesus wants us to realize that our debt to God is like 10,000 talents—utterly unplayable—and yet God willingly and lovingly forgives us our debt. The things people do to us are like the debt of 100 denari—hurtful and challenging, but not insurmountable. Jesus is telling us that if God can forgive us our enormous debt, we use be willing to forgive the much much smaller debts owed to us by those who have hurt us.
When we refuse to forgive, as we learned last week, the grudges we hold become chains that bind us. The more we cling to our unforgiveness, the tighter the chains wrap us and, like the servant who was handed over to the torturers in this week’s Gospel, we too are handed over to the torture created by the hardness of our own hearts.
Opening the Word, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
We Welcome You to Sacred Heart Parish. If you have not registered at the parish, please do so. Contact Parish office at email@example.com
What is Expected of you as a Parishioner of Sacred Heart?
To Worship: We gather to celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday (the Lord’s Day). We expect all members of the parish to gather for Sunday worship unless they are unable to do so because of illness or travel. It is when we gather on the Lord’s Day to be nourished by Word and Sacrament that we remember who we are and are given food for the journey.
To Grow: To become a follower of Jesus Christ is to be his disciple. A disciple literally means “one who is learning.” We expect every member of Sacred Heart Parish to commit to at least one program of faith formation each year.
To Serve: The essence of the Christian life is to serve God and one another. We are called not just to serve individually, but to do so corporately as the Church. This way we give witness that the Church is the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. We also believe that every parishioner, without exception, has something to offer, something they do well and can do for the sake of the Kingdom of God. We expect every parishioner to serve the parish by being involved in at least one ministry each year.
To create Community: The Church is a community of believers and not simply a collection of individuals who gather for one hour a week. Christian community is one in which we are truly accountable to one another and accountable for one another. We expect every parishioner to contribute to the task of building community by seeing themselves as an integral part of the life of this parish and being intentional about reaching out and connecting with others.
To Give: We expect all parishioners to give generously of their financial resources in proportion to what they have received. We give not to just meet a few basic needs or to pay the costs of maintaining the Church building and a few staff. We give out of gratitude to God, and the more the parish receives, the more we can do for the building up of God’s Kingdom, the more we can help the poor, the more programs we can run to help others grow. No one is excluded from this. If someone has less, they give less. If someone has more, they give more.
MERCY MISSION 2017 – a slideshow