Sunday, September 13
Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight. (Sirach 27:30)
Grudges. We’ve all carried them. At some point, each of us has been hurt by a friend, family member, or coworker. We can feel wounded and hold onto our anger, to the point where it defines us as a victim. But our first reading tells us this is not a healthy response.
When Sirach wrote these words two thousand years ago, he was clued into something that modern psychologists are only now coming to understand. Withholding forgiveness affects our physical and mental health. It can elevate our blood pressure, disrupt our sleep, and weaken our immune system. It can decrease our ability to trust people and reinforce a negative mindset about life. Why would we “hug tight” to these things that harm us? Only forgiveness can help us loosen our grip. When we choose to forgive, even if the offender doesn’t ask for forgiveness, we stop being that “wronged person.” We overcome the stress and bitterness and negativity that were wrapped around us. Best of all, we open ourselves up to the Lord’s healing.
God knows everything we’ve gone through: the ways we’ve been hurt and the ways we’ve hurt the people around us. He forgives us, like the master in today’s Gospel. If we can let God’s forgiveness soften our hearts and break through our guilt, shame, and sadness over the hurts we have caused, we will find the grace to act the same toward the people who have hurt us.
If you’re struggling with a grudge or offense, bring it to God in prayer. Ask him to help you release your hold on anger, even if you feel justified. Forgive the person who hurt you even if you can’t physically reconcile with them. Let the act of forgiveness bring you peace and help you move on.
“Father, help me to let go of wrath and angel: I don’t want to refuse mercy to anyone. Teach me how to forgive!”
Daily Reflections from “The Word Among Us”
Recorded music remains the property of the Artists/Writers.
No ownership is implied
Come, Now Is the Time to Worship – Oslo Gospel Choir
All That We Have – The Dameans
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Virtual Choir/Orchestra 15 Countries: 300 People
He Touched Me – Gaither Gospel Group
Testify to Love – Wyonna Judd