Saint for the day: Robert Bellarmine (October 4, 1542 – September 17, 1621)
Sirach 27:30 – 28:7 – Psalm 103 – Romans 14:7-9 – Matthew 18:21-35
“The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.” (Today’s Psalm Response to Psalm 103)
Today might be called, “Forgiveness Sunday” and we are brought face to face with the real fact that our forgiveness is so often “conditional” and therefore not true “forgiveness” at all.
The Gospel parable paints a vivid picture of true forgiveness by making the two examples so drastically different. It’s millions and millions on the one hand up against a few coins on the other.
On the whole, none of us are very good at following the example of this Gospel. Most of our “forgiveness” is very conditional and we hold on to it with a vengeance. Yet God, who sees through our rouse, still is willing to forgive us. If we were honest and looked at those areas in our own lives where we feel that we have forgiven another (or been forgiven for something that we have done) I think that we would realize how limited our forgiveness really is.
What can we do? The first step is to be honest with ourselves and look closely at the way we have given and accepted forgiveness. Bad things happen to all of us and we do bad things to others yet God is willing to take us where we’re at and draw us back. Do we not owe it to this loving and forgiving God to at least meet Him halfway. The words of the “Confiteor” – come to mind, “for what I have done and for what I have failed to do…” “Let go of past hurts. It does nothing to our good to hold on to some past – usually forgotten event – for us to hold out. “Let Go and Let God” enter into all those areas where we feel we have been hurt and we’ll see the other side of the coin as well. That’s when true “forgiveness” comes into our life. Amen!