“Let the Oppressed Go Free”

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We reflect today on Jesus’ mission to “let the oppressed go free,” and his sharing with St. Peter the power of the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus wanted Peter and the other apostles to share in his ministry of reconciling the world to his Father. He gave them the power to forgive sins for precisely that reason.  The Lord offers that reconciliation to each one of us every time we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Yet as we are reminded time and again in the Scriptures, each one of us has the power to “let the oppressed go free” by offering our forgiveness to those who have hurt us.  One of the surest paths to spiritual stagnation--or worse--is to harbor unforgiveness in one’s heart. Is there anyone that you need to forgive? Ask the Lord to help you to see them as he does--as one for whom he gave his life--and to forgive them, because he does. Can you then go to them and offer that forgiveness in person?  Again, ask the Lord Jesus for courage.

If you are discerning your own vocation, ask the Lord to reveal to you any unforgiveness in your heart that may be preventing you from discerning the Father’s will for you.

If you are praying for those discerning, in addition to the above, pray for those discerning to have the freedom to forgive and the courage to offer forgiveness.