Monday, 32nd Week in Ordinary Time November 13, 2023

Father Rick’s Gospel Reflection for Monday, 32nd Week in Ordinary Time
November 13, 2023, Luke 17:1-6

If you have a mulberry tree in your soul,
ask Jesus to cast it into the sea.

Is there a record of a mulberry tree uprooted and planted in the sea when a Christian prayed? Never. Even Jesus never worked this miracle. St. Luke puts this example of true faith after the passage of Jesus’ teachings about forgiveness.

When someone hurts us deeply, it cuts to the core of our person. Jesus teaches us that his power to forgive another person cuts even deeper. Unforgiveness is our mulberry tree. Deep in our souls, we may have resolved, “I will never forgive.” Jesus wants to heal this wound in our hearts because if it continues, our hurt remains the center of gravity for everything we say and do.

St. Luke’s Gospel message is simple. If you close your heart to forgiveness, you miss the core message of Jesus. All you have left is the execution of your enemies. St. Gregory the Great said, “Unforgiveness is the darkest of all despair, for what hope remains for sinners who do not even show mercy. ‘for the sake of obtaining it themselves.’”

Gospel Challenge:
If this mulberry tree is your nemesis, swallow your pride and run to confession. Only Jesus can cast unforgiveness into the sea of his mercy, where it can never grow again. Once our center is Jesus, forgiveness is something we want to do.

God bless you, my friends.


Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.

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