Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent
Memorial Feast: Saint Frances of Rome, Religious (1384-+1440) Patron Saint of Benedictine Oblates, Automobile Drivers and Widows
Book of the Prophet Daniel 3:25, 34-43, Psalm 25:4-9, & Matthew 18:21-35
In today’s Gospel narrative, our Lord calls us to open our hearts to the power of forgiveness. Guess what? If you didn’t know this already, one of the most complex acts for us to do is forgive from the heart. It is easy to say that you forgive someone but to truly wipe the slate clean, to put whatever that offense was behind you, might take some effort. When we think about it, we can say that it is easy to forgive but difficult, if not impossible, to forget. It may seem that when we believe we have arrived at true forgiveness, something reminds us of the hurt, and we fall right back into that non-forgiving funk.
As we contemplate the dilemma of forgiveness, we must understand that we all have opportunities to forgive within our own families, the frustrations in our professional lives, relationships with our neighbors, and so forth. These problems might only be the “small hurts” in our relationships with others. At times, some of us are called to forgive larger matters committed against ourselves or our property. All we have to do is turn on the broadcasts and listen to the “bad news” being reported from home or around the world. In many ways, we become insulated and regard what happens as the same thing that occurred yesterday and will probably repeat tomorrow.
And yet, as hard as it is to forgive, it is easy for us to ask for forgiveness. The king’s steward in today’s Gospel certainly shows us the two-sided coin that is forgiveness. He is quick to ask for it, but he is slow to give the comfort of forgiveness to others.
Jesus consistently calls us to love one another as He has loved us. God’s love is the essence of forgiveness. No matter how many times we fall short, God continues to love us. If we are to love as God does, then we need to forgive from the heart just as God does. Not a bad notion to think about during Lent.
Question of the Day: Will you consider asking for forgiveness to someone who you have hurt, as well as seeking peace through the Healing Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Prayer: “Unless each of you forgives your brother and sister, the Father will not forgive you.” Amen.