It is 17th September 2017. We celebrate the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings are from Sirach 27:30-28:7; the second reading is from Romans 14:7-9; and the Gospel from Matthew 18:21-35. The first reading and the Gospel directly addresses the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the gift and the miracle of love. Forgiveness is the outcome of a deep prayer and recollection. Forgiveness cannot be postponed for another better moment because forgiving the other itself is the best moment of our living. However strong we may be spiritually, psychologically and materially, without realizing our responsibility we owe to the broken humanity, we cannot forgive another human being. There is no counting of instances in the graceful moments of forgiveness. A true moment of forgiveness does not keep an account of number of times forgiven. To forgive is human but to hold anger, resentment and grudges is inhuman. One does not become divine by forgiving rather one becomes fully human and therefore he or she resembles the nature of God. We all have the unfinished moments of unforgiving accounts of details with one another. Some have more and some others have much more. There is no one who could boast that they do not harbor resentment and anger that leads to unforgiving relationships. We are not here on earth to track and hold an account of the sins of the others. We are here for a purpose of knowing, loving, forgiving and forbearing one another until we reach the Lord. The first reading strongly reminds us that we must forgive just because the Most High has been overlooking many things in our lives. Only sinful and selfish people hold on something against the other and not willing to forgive for the reason they hold so dear. “Forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.” (Sir.28:2). God’s forgiveness depends on the way we treat and re-treat one another. In the responsorial Psalm praises, “The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.” (Ps.103:8). St. Paul reminds us of our purpose of being a Christian to live for one another just because Christ lived and died for us all. It is our privilege and responsibility to unite and bring the people closer to Christ. The Gospel shows us how closed and cruel we could be when we have been forgiven so abundantly by God. Refusing to forgive is satanic and holding anger and resentment against another human being is demonic. By not forgiving, we have passed a judgement on ourselves and we are leading ourselves to the gates of Hell where the unquenching fire of anger and resentment awaiting to engulf us. Despite of our sinfulness, God has repeatedly forgiven us. Let us not drag on taking our own time in forgiving the other. It will be too late when we do not have the spiritual stamina to forgive the other. We need to stop sowing the seeds of hatred, anger and emotional fragmentations in order to become the friends of God. “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). Let us do something to that someone to forgive genuinely today as if it is the last day on earth for us. May God give us the courage to forgive one another today.

Leave a Comment