March 17, 2020

Lent with the Saints: Alphonsus Liguori

Daniel 3:25, 34–43; Psalm 25:4bc–5ab, 6, 7bc, 8–9; Matthew 18:21–35

In today’s Gospel, Peter asks Jesus a question: How often should we forgive a brother who offends us? Peter suggests that perhaps seven times would be a generous offer. Scripture scholar Fr. Raymond Brown notes that, at this point, we who know Jesus’ answer are inclined to criticize Peter. How stingy! We know Jesus is going to respond with a whopping seventy-seven times, suggesting forgiveness without limit.

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Silence Is the Greatest of Teachers

A good new practice to highlight, even at this midway point in the Lenten period, is silence. Silence is the greatest of teachers. This is increasingly true in our highly distracted culture. Distraction is unnecessary noise. If our natural environment lacks silence, how will we ever understand what it is? We will know we have lost something, but will have no word for what it is. Silence will just mean that the audio doesn’t work. So we must speak about silence, communicating what it is until the penny drops into the bottomless well.

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