Forgive and You Will be Forgiven Week 3

(March 6, 2022)

Bottom line: We live a society that is quick to judge and delights in cancelling others. That cannot be the way for us. Our lives are precarious - temptations bring us to the edge of catastrophe.

"Si eres el Hijo de Dios, dile a esta piedra que se convierta en pan".

"Arrojate desde aqui"

"En efecto, no tenemos un sumo sacerdote que no sea capaz de compadecerse de nuestros sufrimientos, puesto que el mismo ha pasado por las mismas pruebas que nosotros, excepto el pecado"

Two weeks ago, looking forward to Lent, I launched a homily series on Jesus' teaching "Forgive and you will be forgiven." Forgiveness is the heart of Lent. We live in a time when many have lost the ability to forgive. Still, forgiveness is a great gift - not only for the one forgiven but also for the person who forgives.

As we begin Lent we see a powerful reason to forgive. All of us live a precarious existence. Temptations surround us and at any moment a temptation can bring a person down. Consider the temptations of the flesh. Jesus experienced it this way: hungry after 40 days of fasting, "The devil said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.'"

The weakness of the flesh may tempt a person to throw away his plans for a healthy lifestyle. A double chocolate or plate of French fries looks more inviting than a salad. Or the flesh may offer something even more disastrous. Someone has said that it only takes two drinks and a wink for as a man to fall into catastrophe. The devil tried to despair, to toss away everything. He took Jesus to the parapet of the temple and said, "throw yourself down..."

We need the Holy Spirit to resist temptation, to make the right choice. That's why our Confirmation candidates are enrolling - publicly stating their desire to receive the Holy Spirit.

Jesus who was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit, withstood the full force of the devil's temptations. That doesn't mean Jesus looks down on us when we fall As we will hear later in Lent, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin."

If Jesus can deal gently with sinners, what about us? We live a society that is quick to judge and delights in bringing people down. That cannot be the way for us. Our lives are precarious - temptations bring us to the edge of catastrophe. As we shall see next Sunday, Jesus wants to radically transform you and me. He wants to forgive us our debts and enable us to forgive our debtors.


We are praying for the people of Ukraine - the focus of our prayer and fasting for Lent 2022.

Thank you for prayers for Elaine Somers. She had surgery this week and the doctors discovered the cancer has not spread.

We also have the good new of Governor Inslee lifting the mask mandate. Beginning next weekend mask wearing will be optional.

Next Saturday we have the synodal listening session. Your participation is important for our parish, archdiocese and universal church. More at announcement time.

The funeral for Cathy Lenac will be tomorrow at 11 am.

I thank our Knights of Columbus for the new safety rail in our sanctuary.


Other Homilies

From Archives (Ash Wednesday Homilies):

Road to Recovery
Wake-up Call for the Soul
Fighting ADD
Finding Hope When Life Hurts
Best Lent Ever: Even Now
First Things
New Mind and Heart
Go to Your Inner Room
Return to Me
The Purpose of Lent
Two Cheers for Catholic Guilt
Don't Waste This Crisis
When You Give Alms
Back to the Basics
Dealing With Guilt
Exercise of Holy Desire

Homilies for First Sunday of Lent ("Temptation Sunday"):

2021 (Year A): The Battle Keeps Raging
2020 (Year A): Immersed in the Scriptures
2019 (Year C): Him Alone
2018 (Year B): Finding Hope When Life Hurts Week 1: Boundaries
2017 (Year A): Best Lent Ever: Prayer Changes Everything
2016 (Year C): First Things: Prayer
2015 (Year B): New Mind and Heart Week 1
2014 (Year A): Prayer and Spiritual Combat Week 1
2013 (Year C): Do Not Talk to the Devil
2012 (Year B): The Convenant with Noah Today
2011 (Year A): The Purpose of Temptation
2010 (Year C): Who Is Like God?
2009 (Year B): Knee Mail
2008 (Year A): The Devil is a Logician
2007 (Year C): More Powerful than Satan
2006 (Year B): Sir, Go on the Other Side
2005 (Year A): The Temptation of Sloth
2004 (Year C): Temptation of Spirituality
2003 (Year B): Lent with C.S. Lewis
2002 (Year A): First Signs of Spring
2001 (Year C): How Satan Operates
2000 (Year B): The Rabbit's Foot
1999 (Year A): Original Sin & Temptation
1998 (Year C): Hidden Sin of Gluttony
1997 (Year B): Jesus' Temptation & Ours

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.

Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Kurt Nagel (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron

Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)

Parish Picture Album


MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru