Thursday 14th August – Memorial of St Maximilian Kolbe, Priest & Matyr
Reflection: Matthew 18: 21- 19:1
FORGIVENESS WITHOUT SPAN
How best can a father teach his child a virtue other than exemplifying it himself? Parents are both the first and the best teachers of their children. When they live by the virtues they demand from their children, that gives a great deal of legitimacy to their demands.
In the Gospel reading of today, our Lord Jesus Christ underscores the importance of forgiveness in our life’s pilgrimage. He not only talked about it but exemplified it in His own earthly sojourn (Luke 23:34), and by His sacrificial death has opened up the pathway for reconciliation between God and man.
Dear friend, much as we daily sin and look up to God for forgiveness, why do we find it difficult to extend this gesture of mercy to our neighbours when they offend us? Unforgiveness breeds resentment which is a form of self-imprisonment that robs us of our joy. Vengeance thrives in unforgiveness. If we easily see reasons to excuse our wrongs, can’t we be more liberal with the faults of others? When we set limits to how much we can forgive others, we are gradually closing the door of divine mercy against ourselves (Matthew 6: 9-15)!
Beloved, is there anyone you are holding grudges against? Individuals you have sworn never to forgive? Today the Lord is asking you to have a change of heart regardless of the magnitude of the offence. We don t forgive because we feel like, we do because we need to; and this reflects the depth of our love and submission to the Holy Spirit. When we decide in our hearts to forgive, the Holy Spirit supplies the needed grace.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please root out of my heart all forms of resentment and unforgiveness that I may daily extend the mercy I receive from you to others.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 524 – What does it mean to say, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”?
Merciful forgiveness—the mercy that we show to others and the mercy that we ourselves seek—is indivisible. If we ourselves are not merciful and do not forgive one another, God’s mercy will not reach our hearts.
Many people have a lifelong struggle with their inability to forgive. The deep blockade of being unreconciled is resolved only by looking to God, who adopted us “while we were yet sinners” (Rom 5:8). Because we have a kind Father, forgiveness and reconciliation in life are possible.
HIDE A TREASURE: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” Matthew 5:7 RSV-CE
Readings for Today: Ezekiel 12: 1-12, Psalm 78: 56-62; Matthew 18: 21- 19:1