Forgiveness

Clergy Corner by Fr. Theo

This Sunday’s Gospel passage offers us a lesson on forgiveness which does not deny wrongdoing but recognizes that human beings, created in God’s image, are always greater than the evil they commit. Saint Peter asks Jesus: “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?" And Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times” meaning always. You must always forgive. And he confirms this by telling the parable of the merciful king and the wicked servant, in which he shows the inconsistency of the man who was first forgiven and then refused to forgive.

Yes, sometimes it's not easy, to forgive. Because our selfish heart is always attached to hatred, revenge, resentment. There are people who live condemning people, talking ill of people, constantly dirtying their workmates, dirtying neighbors, relatives, because they don't forgive something they've done to them, or they don't forgive something they didn't like.

By calling us to forgive not only seven times but seventy-seven times, Jesus is telling us that there is no limit to the depth and breadth of mercy and forgiveness that we must offer another. No limit!

This spiritual truth must become far more than a theory or ideal we strive for. It must become a practical reality which we embrace with all our might. We must daily seek to rid ourselves of any tendency we have, no matter how small, to hold a grudge and remain in anger. We must seek to free ourselves from every form of bitterness and allow mercy to heal every hurt.

 

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