Welcome Friends!

A Catholic blog about faith, social issues, economics, culture, politics and poetry -- powered by Daily Mass & Rosary

If you like us, share us! Social media buttons are available at the end of each post.

Monday, September 18, 2017

God is Merciful; We Must Be Too!

Sermon by Fr. Joseph Mungai, FMH
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sept. 17, 2017
St. John the Apostle Awasi Catholic Church, Kisumu Archdiocese, Kenya

Last week, the church reminded us of the importance of reconciliation through fraternal dialogue and mutual love. Today she, invites us to reflect on forgiveness. It is a very
important element of reconciliation, and our Christian belief. It is the central message of today’s first and gospel readings. (Sirach 27:30-28:7; Matt 18: 21-35)

There is a popular saying that to err is human, while to forgive is divine. That is to say, that the one who sins acts humanly. This is because, it is part of our attributes as humans to err or to sin. On the other hand, the one who forgives acts divinely. This is because, to forgive is to participate in a very important attribute and nature of God. That is, His divinity. It is what our God is known for.
“He is compassionate, merciful, love and He forgives” (Ps 102).

The first reading reminds us that for our prayer to be answered, we must forgive others. It presupposes that we are all sinners, in need of God’s forgiveness. So to be forgiven, first, we must forgive others. Therefore, Sirach urges us:
“Forgive your neighbor the hurt he does to you, and when you pray, your sins will be forgiven.” This is a call to liberate others, in other to liberate and heal ourselves too.
In the second reading (Romans 14:7-9), Paul reminds us of something very important. The life and death of each of us has its influence on the other. Our ability to forgive too influences the other. Hence, it is important to note that, forgiveness has a double effect. It is a single dose medicine that cures one or many persons at the same time. It liberates the one who is forgiven, as well as, heals the one who forgives.

In the gospel, Christ takes forgiveness to a different and practical level. This unfolds in the dialogue between Peter and Christ. Peter asked a theoretical question:
“How many times must I forgive my brother?” Jesus answered him in the most practical way: “seventy-seven times.” Christ’s response, simply reminds us that Christian forgiveness does not have limits. We must forgive all, always and forever as the prayer of Saint Francis of Assis says: “Wherever there is injury, pardon.”

To demonstrate this, Jesus tells a parable about the kingdom of heaven.The wicked servant was forgiven a great debt, but he could not forgive his neighbor a little debt. He was set free, but he jailed his neighbor. The message of this parable is that we must treat others mercifully. We must forgive, because God forgives us every day. We must not always hold our neighbors to contempt. Rather, we must consider their situations as God considers our situation always.

What does it mean to forgive all and forever? First, it does not mean: “I forgive you, but we must go our separate ways,” or "I forgive you, but I do not want to see you again in my life,”
or "I forgive you, but I will not forget.” It means something much deeper. It means to restore unity, to believe that it is possible to walk together towards a common goal. It means to heal a wound, without leaving a scar.

It is important to add that, sometimes, one equally needs to forgive oneself for the faults committed against self. Endless grieving or guilt because of one’s mistakes reduces the quality of life. It hinders both spiritual and material progress. So, we must forgive ourselves too, in other to continue living in peace with ourselves.

Finally, he who forgives acts like Christ. So, as we pray today at this Eucharistic celebration: “Forgive us our offences, as we forgive those who offend us,” let us ask God to help us to be true to these words, by living them practically.
Thank you for praying for my mother, Lucy. she is recovering 
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

*Fr. Joe Mungai, FMH, is a Franciscan Missionary of Hope, a relatively new congregation started in Nairobi, Kenya in 1993. He was ordained June 7, 2014. 


  1. Thank you for this beautiful post and teaching. I know that should I take to heart this beautiful teaching on mercy, that my life will, in all ways, improve immensely.

    Dear God, please fill my heart and mind with your ways in regard to mercy.


    Mark Thomas

  2. God bless you Mark Thomas. Thank you for your beautiful faith. Susan Fox