Gospel: Lk 17:1-6
Jesus said to his disciples, “Scandals will necessarily come and cause people to fall; but woe to the one who brings them about. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck. Truly, this would be better for that person, than to cause one of these little ones to fall.
Listen carefully: if your brother offends you, tell him, and if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he offends you seven times in one day, but seven times he says to you, ‘I’m sorry,’ forgive him.”
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” And the Lord said, “If you have faith, even the size of a mustard seed, you may say to this tree, ‘Be uprooted, and plant yourself in the sea!’ and it will obey you.
Ali Baba was a poor man who sometimes went in the forest to collect fuel wood. On one occasion when he was doing that, he saw a group of horsemen coming in his direction. Afraid they might be robbers, he hid himself up a tree and waited to see what they would do. They came near Ali’s tree, dismounted and approached a huge rock. Their leader then shouted, “Open, Sesame!” And at the sound of these two magical words, a door opened in the rock. The robbers went into what was a huge cave, deposited their loot there, came out and their leader shouted, “Close, Sesame!” and the rock closed. Then they left. Curious, Ali shouted the two magical word, “Open, Sesame!” and the rock opened up. Ali went inside and saw there the accumulated loot of generations of robbers. After that, his family was never more in need.
In our relationship with our spouse, we offend and are offended “seven times in one day,” as Jesus tells us in today’s gospel reading. He also tells us that the remedy to all offenses consists in the two magical words, “I’m sorry.” These two magical words open hearts full of treasures of love and warm acceptance.