The story is told about a couple who had a big fight which finally ended when they prayed together. They embraced each other, then the wife asked: “What did you pray for me?” The husband said: “The same thing that you prayed for me.” Whereupon the wife said: “So you had the same wish as mine!” And the fight started all over again.
In today’s Gospel (Mt. 18, 21-35), Jesus tells about not putting an end to forgiveness. How often must we forgive? As long as, and as often as we are asked. We have been forgiven so many—nay, countless—times by the Father, so we too must learn to forgive one another, as much.
Humility is the key to forgiveness. Without humility, we cannot accept our mistakes, and without humility, we cannot accept others’ mistakes. Pride is the single biggest block on the road to reconciliation and forgiveness. It all starts with the first step, wherein one sincerely says: “Have mercy on me, Oh God, for I am a sinner.”
Someone once said that forgiveness is relinquishing our right to hurt back. If we do not forgive and continue to hurt back those who offended us, the hurting goes on and on. What we don’t realize is that as long as we do not forgive, we continue to hurt our very selves.
Hatred or revenge is like acid, and the container of that acid is our hearts, 24 hours a day, even while we are sleeping. So be good and be kind to yourself.
We have a choice: to TO FORGIVE OR TO BE FREE, or not to forgive, and be stress and angry. Let go and let God set you free.
Lord, help me to forgive much as you have forgiven me much. Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.