A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 18:21-35
Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt. Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”
REFLECTION: “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
We all have freedom of will. We have the freedom to forgive the one who has wronged us. Forgiveness is our sincere decision to change the way we want to behave toward someone who has hurt us. It yields freedom, peace and well being.
We have all been betrayed, deceived, duped, taken advantage of and gossiped about. It is hard to forgive on our own, as the emotions and scars are still in us. Prayer, patience and humility in the Lord will eventually give us this grace to forgive.
Jesus showed us how to pray, think, love, forgive and how to live. On the Cross, one of His last teachings was on forgiveness. He turned to the Father and said, "Father, forgive them they know not what they do".
"We must trust in the mighty power of God's mercy. We are all sinners, but His grace transforms us and makes us new." (Pope Benedict) God helps us pull away from sin. He is the source of forgiveness not us. May we ask Him every day, to help us when we ask, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?”
Listen to His answer: “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times".
God Bless You