WHY SHOULD WE FORGIVE?
Our celebration last Sunday invited us to take seriously our community and family life, and to be aware that we have duty of care towards our neighbour. We should use dialogue and reconciliation to win back a memeber who had strayed into wrong-doing. The word of God insisted on agreement and reconiliation as a way of restoring our Christian relationship with one another. Hence, we should handle problems in God's way and not according to our own selfish human desire.
In our readings this weekend, God speaks to us about the way to overcome the evil of resentment and aggression.
The Scripture shows us a progressive movement from wild, primitive vengeance to a full realization of Christian forgiveness. Resentment and vengeance are to be avoided as much as possible.
Thus, Jesus encourages us in the gospel to embrace God's love and compassion and share same with others.
Peter's question on forgiveness arises from the hurt that one may have received from another and how this can be dealt with. Jesus replied by teaching Peter and the other disciples that wrong doing or sin must be forgiven not seven times but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21-35).
In this way Jesus emphasises compassion that expresses itself in forgiveness beyond counting. In Psalm 102:1-4, the Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.
Jesus is the restorer of peace and repairer of broken life and relationship.
As St Paul writes, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost" (1Tim1:12-17). Conscious of how we offend God on daily basis and how God forgives us always when we turn to God? Our faith teaches us that primitive lust for vengeance must be replaced by the compassion of God now revealed to us in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that dwells in our heart.
Christianity brings in a new dimension of divine love and power sweeping through the world: Compassion. The sign of peae we offer each other during the celebration of the Holy Mass, shows that we all need peace.The Lord encourages us not to give up on working for peace and reconciliation. True peace will come when we live in forgiveness. Unforgiveness hurts us more, to harbour resentment or to hold on to hurt memories is to be imprisoned: bound in chains and paralysed. But to overcome all bitterness and anger is to be released, healed and restored
HAPPY SUNDAY! – FR. FRANCIS, MSP