Alexander Pope said, “To err is human, to forgive divine.” The phrase gives me an understanding that man is always inclined to commit errors and mistakes. Instead of holding grudges over the mistakes of others, Jesus taught us forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a great challenge for me because I was a victim in many aspects of life. My father left us when I was little, and my mother was so devastated that she neglected me. When she passed away, I did not even grieve. I asked myself why my parents did not foster love for me, especially when I needed it the most. It was only when I became a postulant at the Don Bosco Formation Center did I realize that my life would be in chaos if I would not learn to forgive my parents.
Forgiveness indeed is letting go and letting God. Forgiveness is also not forgetting, but about resolving the concerns. The mistakes they have done to me should not happen to other people around me. The Gospel today teaches us to be more patient in extending our perimeters of forgiveness. Seventy-seven times is equivalent to letting go, for God’s love is greater than the mistakes and errors incurred in me and by me. His love is always a great source of assurance as I continue my journey to the priesthood.
If I had been particular about grudges, no one would have liked to make friends with me because grudges, hatred, and anger are contagious and detrimental to our mission of love, peace, harmony, and compassion. Christ has challenged us to be reformers in a world infested with anger, grudges, hatred, and vengeance. His mandate for all of us is to fight evil with good for it is the only way where God’s kingdom reigns.
By: Sem. Ace Vergel D. Quilope
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.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed,
and went to their master and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”
When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee
and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.