Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Freedom of the Spirit

A reflection on the Mass readings for March 29, 2011 (Daniel 3:25, 34-43 and Mt. 18:21-35) by Mother Maria Michael Newe, OSB. The first reading today gives us a good ‘gate’ to go through to read the Gospel. It should open our hearts to ask the question, “How are we following Christ?” It says, “Do not let us be put to shame but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.” How do we feel when we put another to shame, when we hold them so fast that they go away feeling just chopped down? Are we dealing with them in kindness and great mercy? And yet we go to God fully expecting great kindness and mercy in whatever we do; and we receive it! I think a great deal of how we receive God’s mercy has to do with our own way of dealing with other people. Healing will come if we open ourselves to others. So often we carry around many wounds, but if we don’t recognize them, we keep visiting them and then visiting them on others. I don’t think people can be happy until there is a sense of forgiveness and a letting go. When we carry around things that have hurt us deeply we can’t help but to keep striking out. But if we can learn to let go the day will come when we have the experience of true joy, when we experience the lightness of the Spirit; when we can freely forgive another and there’s not anything in us angry. That’s the sign of having been truly forgiven ourselves. That’s the joy nobody can take away from you. Nothing can hurt you when you’re so free in spirit that way and so freely given to others.

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