Revenge is so, so sweet, isn’t it?
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I remember… Freshman year in college, Steve gave Jane and Jeannette access to our room in Gardner Hall. Room 307. The girls sewed the fly on our underwear shut and sprinkled crackers in our dresser drawers.
It took a little sleuthing to figure it all out, who did the deed, how they got in our room, but Bruce and I got to the bottom of it.
And… we got our revenge all right!
We stole a couple of whole pies from Baxter Hall (the cafeteria) and decorated Steve’s car.
Ohhhhh…. we had the last laugh, didn’t we?
Oh, sure, it was a tame prank on both sides. No big deal. No harm done. Just a little college prank.
Only, to do it, we had to steal. And then we had to inflict damage on someone’s property.
It was a silly prank. It was a silly revenge. Nobody got hurt. We exchanged many laughs about it over the years.
Often, revenge is about a lot more serious matters. I’ve been party to or had knowledge about some of those, too.
Year of Mercy
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 18:21-35), Peter asks Jesus if we have to forgive someone seven times. What does Jesus say about that?
We have to forgive someone seventy-seven times!
That’s a lot of forgiving.
But that’s what we’re called to do.
It ain’t easy!
After telling Peter to forgive his brother 77 times, he tells the parable of the king who forgave the enormous debt of one of his officials.
The official begged for mercy. The king is moved with compassion and forgives the debt.
But not soon after, the king learns that the same official — after the king had shown him great mercy — confronts a servant who owed him a small amount, chokes the guy, demands his money, and has him thrown in prison.
What do you think the king does?
He punishes the official. And now he says “pay me what you owe me.”
Jesus says that His Heavenly Father will do the same to us unless we forgive from the heart.
Forgive and Don’t Forget!
Heard a little of Father Paul Scalia’s homily from the funeral of his father, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Father Paul reminded us that his dad still required our prayers. He wasn’t a saint yet! A bleak reminder that we’re all subject to Purgatory, which the Catholic Church teaches as referenced in the Book of Revelation.
If someone wrongs us, can’t we offer up our forgiveness and the pain it caused us as intercession for the souls in Purgatory? How about offering it up for the deceased members of our family? How about offering it up for the person who wronged us?
If we canonize our deceased relatives too soon, we forfeit an opportunity to pray for forgiveness of their sins. We fail to show them mercy.
It’s all a mystery. But so is Original Sin. It’s the imperfection of our human body, our human mind, our imperfect soul. We need to be perfected.
Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday. I will also explore other matters of faith and also health and fitness to keep us fit for the journey. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski
I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.