May the Lord give you grace and peace to be compassionate in the Holy Spirit. It is on 14th March 2023. We reflect Daniel 3:25, 34-43; and the Gospel from Matthew 18:21-35.
Which one is easy loving or forgiving? Or rather, Where do we draw a line in forgiving and holding others responsible?
“One who cannot forgive others destroys the bridge over which one must pass,” remarks George Herbert.
To forgive is a choice, a gift, reclaiming, detoxifying and inner power.
“Tell me one thing your religion can offer to our people that mine cannot,” asked a believer from a religion. Without much hesitation, the missionaries voiced out: Forgiveness!
We cannot believe and experience that we are forgiven without profound prayer. The prayer of Azariah’s request for mercy is the centre of the narrative. As God took care of three young men in the fire, whatever the painful condition we are in, God takes care of us by forgiving us. The prayer of three men brought the king who intended to hard them closer to God.
God never abandons God’s people when they can praise and worship God for the disbelief of the other. Whatever fire we are thrown into, God is with us. Our responsibility is to pray for those who ditch us into such painful situations.
When we are genuine in our repentance, we are bestowed with the forgiveness of God.
The responsorial Psalm praises, “Remember your mercies, O Lord.” (Ps.25:6). God’s name is mercy, says His Holiness Pope Francis.
We might defend, excuse, or justify but to forgive we need God. Forgiveness is unconditional love not a mere explanation.
Love gives and mercy forgives. Ideally, justice and mercy are the two sides of forgiveness. Praxis of faith in action is from justice to mercy.
Without forgiveness, we cannot become part of the Kingdom of God. It is only in forgiveness we give everything without reserve. We live and relate in a circle of giving, receiving, and returning. In that perspective, forgiveness is a human endeavour with a divine mindset.
“When God forgives”, his forgiveness is so great that it is as if ‘God has forgotten,’” says Pope Francis.
There is a link between the way we forgive others and the way God forgives us. Our forgiveness needs to be demonstrated in action and by reaching out to the one we have afflicted pain. As God takes initiative in forgiving us, we need to come out of the prison of an unforgiving heart.
Forgiveness is nothing but consistency in love. Without forgiveness, it is impossible to go to Heaven. Mending relationships at all levels needs to be genuine, gentle, generous, and generational. Healing the wounds of the other is the primary task of our spiritual union with God. Yes, it is hard to forgive the other when the other person is not responding and reciprocating the same sentiments. But we need to show our magnanimity towards the other in forgiving. “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).
Forgive your parents whatever mistakes they have made; forgive any relationship that did not work out; Forgiveness imparts peace.
May the Lord help us to forgive the other person as God has forgiven us. God bless you.