Homily on Forgiveness: Notes and MP3

Fr. Anthony argues that those who claim that Christians have to pretend that wolves are sheep make a mockery of the Gospel and open their communities to predation.  Sorry about the poor audio quality!
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NOTES:

Forgiveness is complicated. Misunderstanding sets us up for failure and makes a mockery of Christianity

Exoneration: this is the ideal – wipes the slate clean

  • It was an accident – no intent
  • The actor was a child or an innocent
  • The person is truly sorry; takes full responsibility; asks for forgiveness, and gives
  • IN THESE CASES FULL EXONERATION IS REQUIRED; THE WORLD BECOMES BETTER WHEN WE DO AND WORSE WHEN WE DONT
  • Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18:18 (the parable that follows it makes CLEAR that this is the context)

Forbearance

  • Apology is qualified or inauthentic
  • Let go of the thought
  • “Forgive but don’t forget”; setting of boundaries
  • Allows us to maintain relations with people we cannot avoid or that we love
  • Allows for the possibility of eventual exoneration as the person grows in goodness
  • In scripture; all the commandments to be patient with one another and for the strong to bear the burdens of the weak speak to this kind of forgiveness.

Release

  • No recognition of wrongknowing
  • No repentance
  • No expectation that the person will not do it in the future
  • DOES NOT EXONERATE;
  • Liberating.
  • “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” St. Matthew 10:14.

Forgiveness is one of the great superpowers granted to us; let’s use it properly.

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