In today’s gospel, through the parable of the two debtors, Jesus teaches us there should be no limit to our forgiveness and no condition attached to our reconciliation:” For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
In the light of eternity and the shortness of our span of life, harboring old grudges is pointless. Neighbors who remained hostile and unforgiving until death remain buried a short distance from one another in the same cemetery. Our ability to forgive is the measure of the depth of our Christianity. The forgiveness we offer others is the indispensable condition which makes it possible for us to receive God’s forgiveness and to meaningfully pray:
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Let us remember St. Francis Assisi’s prayer: “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” Our failure to offer pardon means we have forgotten God’s goodness or have not fully appreciated the unconditional forgiveness we have received from him. What God expects from us is limitless forgiving and an ability to overlook faults and keep on loving even in the face of insults. We may never forget the hurt we have experienced, but we can choose to forgive.
As life goes on and we remember an incident that was hurtful and caused great anger, we need to remind ourselves that with God’s grace we have already forgiven the one who hurt us. Time does heal memories. Time can dull the vividness of the hurt and thus the memory will fade. We must never let the person who hurt us own us. Forgiveness finally changes us from prisoners of our past to being liberated and at peace with our memories. Visualize those who caused such destruction as sinful men needing the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ.
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St. Mary’s Catholic Church
1414 Gorrell Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
Monday through Friday
8:00 AM – 4:30 PM