It is 6th March 2018. The readings are from Daniel 3:25, 34-43; and the Gospel from Matthew 18:21-35. The first reading is the prayer of Azariah in which he reminds God why God has to be merciful and compassionate. He pleads God to be merciful and forgiving their sins. Sins bring pain and eventually death. But forgiveness and showing compassion ease all pain whether it is spiritual and corporal. Just like Azariah, we need to pray for other people who are in the captivity of sorrow, sadness, pain caused by human sinfulness and selfishness. It is also good to have a journal of forgiveness in which we must put in black and white those people and moments made us hurt and how often we pray for the very ones who caused us to suffer; and to write them down the feelings and frustrations and how hard to forgive. God alone can heal our wounds. The responsorial Psalm prays, “Remember your mercy, Lord.” (Ps. 24:6). The Gospel demands forgiveness of heart just because we are enjoying the blessings of forgiveness from the Lord. Because God has forgiven our debts, we must not delay in forgiving other. Our life of prayer is cemented only by the forgiveness we display in our daily lives. We need God’s blessings to forgive along with all available human efforts in place. Human sciences cannot guide and dictate forgiveness, it is the discipline of our hearts that require for forgiveness. We will stand guilty in front of God when we have refused to forgive the wrong others have done against us. It is the quality of heart that matters for forgiveness not quantified measures in displaying compassion and mercy. The wrong we have done against God and our neighbour is enormous yet God in His supreme compassion and mercy has forgiven and offered peace to our hearts. God has gone out this much to forgive but we find it so hard to forgive others even in a small way. Lent is the time to settle the account with other people. God expects us to forgive and demands the same. “So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” (Mt. 18:35). St. Peter was shocked to receive the answer of Jesus about forgiveness. It is not how many times but rather the quality of forgiveness in innumerable forgiving times that is required in showing our forgiveness. To forgive is not only spiritual but it is integral. We need to start all over again without rolling back and reliving the past memories of hurts. We all still owe an apology for the moments of holding something against someone. It is time to settle it. May we may efforts to knock at the doors and hearts of people, we need to say sorry. May the Lord help us and guide us in this process of integral healing. May you have a good day.

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