A Message from Andrew: September 17

Posted on September 17, 2023 in: General News

Memories of my childhood are often filled with experiences and lessons from my family’s business. My father was the owner of McCarroll Precast Inc. in Lehman, PA – as was his father before him. Our family business was nothing particularly impressive as compared to larger precast plants throughout the Northeast. I often wondered why our family business – being rather small and simple for most of its 54-year history – never expanded and diversified as compared to others in this region. When I asked my dad this very same question, he responded: “it’s about quality, not quantity.” Quality over quantity is a familiar life lesson, and it is exactly what Jesus is getting at in this Sunday’s gospel (Matthew 18:21- 35). Peter asks Jesus: “If my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus responds: “Not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Peter is concerned about the quantity of forgiveness, but Jesus redirects the focus to the quality of forgiveness. This multiple of seven – seventy-seven – is the Hebrew number symbolic of perfection, a perfection that reflects the generous love of God. We know that forgiveness is a hard cross to carry in our complicated and messy lives. As C.S. Lewis wrote: “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.” God does not ask us to “forgive and forget” as if there is a fixed quota. He simply asks us to forgive – acknowledging the frailty and sinfulness of our humanity – and to do this with generosity, just as God has so generously forgiven us.

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