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A New Way of Seeing

... go and be reconciled with your brother first
Sirach 15:15-20; Psalm 119:1-2,4-5,17-18,33-34; I Corinthians 2:6-10; Matthew 5:17-37

Sermon Week Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 5:24

On the night of November 4, 1940, the City of Coventry, in England, already battered in several fierce raids by the Germans, was subjected to a continuous, 9-hour hail of incendiary and high-explosive bombs.

The town center was reduced to a charred wilderness of rubble and twisted metal. All that remained of Coventry's Cathedral of St. Michael, a Church dating back nearly 1,000 years, were the lower walls and the 300-foot tower and spire. After the war's end, and a significant surge of re-building, the beautiful new St. Michael's Church was dedicated in 1962 ...

At the altar end of the building hangs a vast tapestry -- the largest in the world -- picturing the Triumphant Christ.

The altar itself was constructed from stones taken from the charred rubble.

A cross made of charred beams from the bombed-out roof was placed above the altar.

On the altar was set a cross of 600-year-old iron nails that were recovered from the rubble. And above the altar and the crosses, the words Christ spoke from His Execution-Cross were inscribed: "Father, Forgive!"

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus says to His followers:

"So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering" (Mt. 5:23-24).

"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Just as God's love and mercy are greater than the things that separate us from Him, so too, our love and compassion must be greater than the things that separate us from one another ...

To forgive is to acknowledge that only love can overcome the evil that divides and alienates.

To forgive is to acknowledge that only love can heal our wounded relationships with one another.

To forgive is to acknowledge that only love can clear away the debris carried over from our unresolved past lives.

Repent, and believe in the Gospel Truth that if you forgive others then you will experience God’s [...]

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