Forgive and you will be Forgiven

Aug 14, 2014 | [post_view] Views


Your Portion of Daily Crumbs

Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr

Thursday, August 14, 2014



First Reading: EZ 12:1-12

Responsorial Psalm: PS 78:56-57, 58-59, 61-62

Gospel:  MT 18:21-19:1



Our Gospel today is a continuation of the Gospel reading yesterday where Jesus exhorted His disciples to make the first move in extending forgiveness and reconciliation to those who would offend them. After Jesus said these things, Peter asked Jesus for a clarification. He said, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus’ answer, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times” is not about the number of times forgiveness can be given but about possessing the character of forgiveness which is divine.

Number seven in the scriptures symbolizes divine completeness or perfection. Perhaps, that was in the mind of Peter. But Jesus made greater emphasis on the necessity to always forgive, not just up to the completeness of it. What He wants His disciples to understand is that forgiveness is not something they can limit but is something that speaks about who they truly are, as His disciples, that they are forgiving, reconciling persons for that is who God is. Jesus wants them to embrace and become for themselves Divine forgiveness.

To make this more explicit, Jesus told them the parable about the unforgiving servant. In the parable, after the servant was forgiven by the king from his enormous debt, he failed to forgive his fellow servant who indebted him with a small amount.  Because of this, the forgiveness he received was taken back. Then the parable ended with the fate of the unforgiving servant.Artgate_Fondazione_Cariplo_-_Molteni_Giuseppe,_La_confessione

“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 his brother from his heart.”

Jesus is teaching us that God always forgives. He always bestows His grace of forgiveness to all of us who repents no matter how grave our sins are.  However, He requires that we also forgive one another from our hearts. Jesus said,  “So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”  How can one receive God’s forgiveness for the sin of hatred, for example, if the person who comes to confession still refuse to forgive? That unforgiving person then is not truly repentant.  He has no plan of removing hatred from his heart. He is not allowing God to erase that hatred. He goes out of confession not forgiven because he prefers to harbor hatred.

Becoming a forgiving person, then,  means that we always (and I say it again “always”) manifest in our lives Divine Forgiveness. It is with this that we are truly forgiven. Forgive and you will be forgiven.


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