“Our life on earth is a journey of forgiveness,” declared Fr. Paul at the St. Matthew’s Tuesday 6am daily Mass. Commenting on the Gospel for last Tuesday, the priest spoke of a recent experience with a parishioner following the sacrament of reconciliation.
He told the contrite young man, “I see Jesus in you. Yes, I see Our Lord in your repentance and love for His Law.” At hearing the priest’s words, the penitent began to sob, Fr. Paul said.
Then, looking out at each of us as, he observed, “Often, the one we need most to forgive is ourself. Over and over we need to forgive ourselves.”
Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan…
that brings about a greater good. With that statement, Pastor Timothy Keller explains the lens through which we Christians view forgiveness in reply to the secular rise of the “offense of forgiveness.” Think Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Jane’s Revenge—activist groups enforcing a culture of victimhood. And of ensuring equity through oppressing excellence. A moral culture, one author maintains, not of sexual licentiousness but of vindictiveness sanctioned by law.
But yet we must ask whether forgiveness has ever been intrinisic to humans? Our Lord answers our question when he speaks about the actions of the forgiven servant.
Jesus speaks of the forgiven man’s shockingly sinful ingratitude. His refusal to extend the same compassion and mercy to one who owed him far less, invokes the eternal wrath of his master.
Forgiveness. It’s the toughest thing to do in life, I think. In fact, I don’t think it’s tough; I think it’s impossible. At least on our own. I’m not talking about forgiving someone who slighted us a little. I’m talking about someone who has hurt us in a profound and life-altering way. Someone who sexually or physically abused us, was unfaithful to us, slandered us, tried to ruin us, took the life of a loved one…This is Serious
It’s worth sticking on the servant forgiven a large debt for a moment. That forgiveness from his master was Grace. And what must we do when we’re given Grace? Fully cognizant of our own need for forgiveness, we must
GIVE IT AWAY!
In his homily for last Sunday, The Thirsty Soul, Bishop Barron explains a basic maxim of the spiritual life: we can only receive Grace.
We cannot grasp it, make it mine.
And how do we keep the divine life alive within us?
Give it all away, honoring the Law of the Gift.
“Scattered about the entire earth, your mother the Church is tormented by the assaults of error. She is also afflicted by the laziness and indifference of so many of the children she carries around in her bosom as well as by the sight of so many of her members growing cold, while she becomes less able to help her little ones. Who then will give her the necessary help she cries for if not her children and other members to whose number you belong?”
Forgiveness is a form of voluntary suffering
that brings about a greater good.
Very insightful. Thank you 🙏
Blessings on you during these most holy days, my friend!