Memorial of St. Clare (Virgin)

Theme: A forgiving spirit

Today the church celebrates the memorial of St. Clare of Assisi, one of the early followers of St. Francis of Assisi. She is the founder of a monastic religious group, known as the order of poor Ladies. She is also known as the first woman, to write the first rules of monastic life. She is the patron saint of people with eye disease and some other groups. Her love for the poor and less privileged, especially women, was one of the things that inspired the congregation she founded. Her lifestyle also encourages you and I as Christians to embrace purity of life in all that we do.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, the response to our psalm today says, ‘never forget the deeds of the Lord’. This is very important, if we truly want to be appreciative of the deeds of God in our lives. We see this very clearly in the gospel reading of today. Jesus in his parable in today’s gospel shows us what it means to extend love to all those who encounter us in our life. God forgives us our offenses each time we go to him in humility begging for his forgiveness and mercy; he equally wants us to extend such to each other, in our human relationships.

Dearly beloved in Christ, the parable of Jesus in today’s gospel is saying a lot to all of us as children of God. His answer to Peter about forgiveness simply means that we have to be ready to forgive each other as many times as we expect forgiveness from him. Lest when we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we will be indicting ourselves for failing to forgive those who have offended us. However, sometimes forgiveness may be difficult, but we have to take it to God in prayer. So that he will grant us the grace to forgive and let it go. The most important thing is that we should have the desire to let it go and God will strengthen our resolve.

I pray that through the intercession of St. Clare, God will give us a forgiving spirit. May almighty God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Memorial of St. Clare, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp