“If you do not forgive those who wrong you, you are overburdening you heart and giving in yourself to the shackles of the evil one”.
The Priest-in-Residence at Christ the King Catholic Church Oru Ahiara, Ahiara Diocese, Rev. Mgsr. Theo Nwalo stated this in his sermon marking Eucharistic Mass in the parish.
Preaching on the topic: “Be your Brothers keeper,” the clergyman cautioned against grudges and malice, underlining numerous benefits derivable from unconditional love for one another.
He stated that Jesus Christ paid the supreme sacrifice and died for us while we are still sinners, point’mg out that if one only loves those who love him and hates those who hate him, he is not Christlike and has nothing to exhibit as a child of God.
In his text taking from Matthew 18:15-20, he said, Jesus said to his disciples: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”
Continuing, he said: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself. Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Love does no evil to the neighbour; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law. Do not hate. Do not discriminate. Eschew greed, avarice, covetousness, treachery, blackmail, backbiting, calumny and pull him down syndrome. Do not take to heart the wrongs of your brother or hold tightly to the past. You will only be increasing your burden which could weigh you down. Do not use your position to victimize anybody or settle old scores. Leave vengeance for the Lord and do not let the devil take hold of you or manipulation you. If you do not forgive, your father in heaven will neither forgive you nor grant your request.”
Citing also the book of Ezekiel 33:7-9 where it was said: “If you do not speak to the wicked man, I will hold you responsible for his death but if warn him and he refuses to turn from his way, he shall die for his guilt, but you shall save yourself,” the cleric cautioned against teeth for tat, reiterating that vengeance is for God.
The First was taking from the book of Ezekiel 33:7-9 ” If you do not speak to the wicked man, I will hold you responsible for his death,” Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 94:1-2,6-9.Rv.7-8 “O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts,” Second Reading – Romans 13:8-10 “Love is the answer to every one of the commandments” and Gospel – Matthew 18:15-20 “If he listens to you, you have won back your brethren.”
* Anyanwu DC is the Area Information Officer of Ahiazu Mbaise LGA.
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