Commentary on the Gospel of

Cindy Constanzo-Creighton University's College of Nursing

Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot

The message in Genesis that I keep thinking about is forgiveness and in Matthew trust. Forgiveness and trust bring you closer to God if you lean in and let God guide you. Both scriptures are powerful messages.  I find myself becoming very quiet, turning off the white noise so I can sit quietly and think about forgiveness and trust.  I find myself asking “Where am I in my life with forgiveness and trust?” “Who do I need to forgive?” “Who do I need to ask for forgiveness?”  The list begins to form.  

To augment my contemplation I begin searching for stories about forgiveness and trust. I find a beautifully written narrative on the Ignatian Spirituality site, titled "What Forgiveness Means," by Maureen Waldron. She writes “forgiveness is incredibly difficult” and then shares a beautiful story from Jane Knuth author of Thrift Store Saints about a women who had forgiven her father based on the insight “If you can’t forgive it eats you up inside” and what Jesus death on the cross meant in relation to forgiveness. 

I continue my search and read and found a deeply meaningful story about a New York policemen who was shot and paralyzed from the neck down at the young age of 29. He had recently been married and his wife was 3 months pregnant. Within hours and days of the incident he reached out to a priest and stated he wanted to forgive the young man who shot him. The police officer, paralyzed from the neck down lived a full, loving life and watched his son become a police officer carrying the tradition to 4 generations.  The ability to live this full life centered on his act of forgiveness. 

Finally, I search the Center for Contemplation and Action and found written works from Richard Rohr . He devotes an entire week writing on forgiveness and shares a beautiful story.  A wife and mother close to dying describes a feeling of having “a mesh surrounding her, one she cannot get out of’ until her daughter encourages her to forgive her husband and to ask her husband for forgiveness. Following the act of forgiveness the women describes a feeling of the ‘mesh’ being lifted. “Forgiveness is the only way to free ourselves from the entrapment of the past” (Rohr, 2017). 

On the same site Rohr writes,

“Forgiveness reveals three goodnesses simultaneously. When we forgive, we choose the goodness of the other over their faults, we experience God’s goodness flowing through ourselves, and we also experience our own capacity for goodness in a way that almost surprises us. We are finally in touch with a much Higher Power, and we slowly learn how to draw upon this Infinite Source.” 

So my thoughts continue to marinate on how forgiveness and trust are gifts from God, gifts that bring me closer to God, encourage me to lean in and trust my Higher Power, and allows my heart to heal so I in turn can continue giving, through forgiveness.   Hmmmmm…..more to think about.


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