Today’s Thoughts: First off, this morning I was struck by Azariah’s words, “We have in our day no prince, prophet or leader, no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation or incense, no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.” While our situation these days is not Daniel’s situation after all he utter these words from a fiery furnace, they do echo some of our struggles these days. I thought to myself, is it time for us to be totally honest with God? Is it time for us to seek God’s mercy and forgiveness? Just a thought!
My second thought comes from our responsorial psalm today. "Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior." This is the opening line of today's psalm and perhaps words that sum up our readings for us.
In the first reading from the Book of Daniel, Azariah prays for God's forgiveness not just for himself but for the community. He reflects on the social sin of his time. Not just something an individual has done but what the community had done or failed to do. Azariah seeks God's forgiveness. Often, we do not think this way we worry more about individual sin rather than looking at ourselves as a community of faith who at times sin together by our action or our lack of action. We rarely take into consideration social sin and yet we, as a community, are responsible for what we do or don't do.
We might think the Gospel turns us back to individual forgiveness but in a way, it carries through with our first reading's theme. The other servants see the injustice of the one servant and look to correct the problem. We might say it is the community that deals with the injustice.
Forgiveness and being a forgiving person, a forgiving community, was a constant theme in the life of Jesus. It is not an easy way to live. We would rather seek revenge than be forgiving. We would rather hold the hurt in our heart than be forgiving. It takes hard work and a heart of compassion. Jesus taught us how to have such a heart. He taught us how to be forgiving people and he also taught us how to take responsibility for our sinfulness. He showed us how to be people of faith. He showed us how to take responsibility and how to be compassionate and forgiving. He taught us that forgiveness is an ongoing process.
Jesus taught us the ways of God. He showed us the path to walk. The question is; are we willing to learn and walk down the path that Jesus has set before us?
Have a blessed and holy Tuesday everyone.
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...