During his earthly ministry, Jesus performed many miracles, including healing numerous diseased and disabled bodies. The entirety of the Gospel message is about reconciliation.  Reconciliation with God, and reconciliation with our fellow human beings. Obviously this is an essential part of our Christian life because it is mentioned so often in Scripture, the Liturgy, and the other prayers and writing of our Church.  Reconciliation is not something that is optional it is essential. The passage from the Beatitudes I mentioned earlier, Blessed are those who show mercy, we hear this each and every Liturgy just before the Word of God is brought out into the Congregation.  The small entrance we make in the Liturgy is the symbolic way of showing the very word of God, coming from the Holy Place, to the people, then we break open that Word and we share it. If you have been following the news the last few weeks you know that a group of women stood in the Cathedral in Moscow, and performed a song aimed at the Russian President, it was a kind of political protest, and they chose the Cathedral in part because of the role the Russian Orthodox Church has been playing in politics in Russia these last few years. Keeping in mind that this was done in the middle of the day when many faithful had come to the Cathedral to pray, and keeping in mind that they stood at the Holy Place and mocked God, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church asked the court to show mercy on them and suspend their sentence.  You see he showed significant mercy and forgiveness on what they had done to the Church, and I will add he had no other choice! When famous people forgive those who have deeply hurt them, they can inspire many other people to pursue forgiveness in their own lives. Former South African leader Nelson Mandela was sent to prison in 1963 on charges of trying to sabotage the nation’s government, which advocated a policy called apartheid that treated people of different races differently (Mandela advocated a democratic society in which all people would be treated equally). As the late Pope John Paul II rode past a crowd in an open car in 1981, Mehmet Ali Agca shot him four times in an assassination attempt, seriously wounding the pope.
The miracle of forgiveness always starts with someone who is willing to move beyond the pain of the past in faith that God will help him or her forgive and then experience freedom.


But perhaps his greatest miracle was the healing of people's souls, - the forgiveness of sin. Your deed is in the mail!  That would be phenomenal.  But that is exactly what happened in this story we heard today.
It is about us and how we ask forgiveness from God when we come to Confession.  We fall on our knees if we can get down there anyway, and we ask God to forgive what we have done or what we have failed to do, and without blinking an eye, He forgives us. We do not keep it to ourselves, but we share it with all present.  I also mentioned the passage from the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer that Jesus Himself taught to His apostles and to us, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors!  We have no other choice but to forgive.
Mandela spent the next 27 years in prison, but after he was released in 1990, he forgave the people who had imprisoned him.
You can make this miracle happen in your own life by choosing to forgive the people who have hurt you, with help from God and angels in prayer. It is not known how or why the man owes this money, maybe he fell victim to the mortgage scheme of his day, but it is not applicable to the story.  Just know that this debt was impossible to repay. Some say that the power to forgive is miraculous, since only God can help people overcome bitterness and destructive anger to forgive. A journalist snapped a famous photo of Phuc during the attack that caused outrage worldwide about how the war affected children. In The Miracle of Forgiveness, President Spencer W Kimball gives a penetrating explanation of repentance and forgiveness and clarifies their implications for Church members.


How many parent-child rifts spared if we were kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave us?
Phuc endured 17 operations during the years after the attack that took the lives of some of her family members, and she still suffers pain today. Two years later, the pope visited Agca in his prison cell to let Agca know that he had forgiven him.
His in-depth approach shows that the need for forgiveness is universal; portrays the various facets of repentance, and emphasizes some of the more serious errors, particularly sexual ones, which afflict both modern society and Church members.
The Catholic leader clasped Agca's hands -- the same hands that had pointed a gun toward him and pulled the trigger -- in his own as the two men talked, and when the pope rose to leave, Agca shook hands with him. Most important, he illuminates his message with the brightness of hope that even those who have gone grievously astray may find the way back to peace and security.



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