My mother was one of the most forgiving persons I have ever known. There were numerous occasions when my siblings and I caused her heartache through our poor decisions. I recall vividly an instance when we had a misunderstanding. It happened two years ago when I raised my voice to explain my side. That caused me to feel awful. As an expression of my remorse, I hugged her and apologized for raising my voice. Rather than making me feel how bad I was, she responded in a gentle, understanding, and forgiving manner. She also taught me to be more understanding and forgiving of others.
In the gospel, the king pardoned the servant of his debt. However, this servant was unable to reciprocate the king’s merciful act when he refused to forgive his fellow servant who owed him. It reflects our tendency to become self-righteous, which the Lord warns his disciples to avoid.
God forgives us not only for the sake of forgiveness, but also so that we can learn our lesson and reflect on our sins in order to avoid committing the same sin again. We receive God’s forgiveness today through the sacrament of reconciliation, which strengthens our loving relationship with God and our neighbors. As Pope Francis defines it, confession is “abandoning oneself to love”. We feel God’s mercy bestowed upon us in this sacrament. As a result, the Lord exhorts us to forgive our offenders in the same way that God forgives our transgressions. Allowing God to assist us in the process of forgiving and healing is what forgiveness entails
By: Sem. Edward R. Miana
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
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 him 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 your brother from your heart.”