Forgive Always

09-17-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Aruldoss, Pastor

Dear People of God,

Good morning to all. May our mighty Jesus bless you all with peace, protection, prosperity and good health. Last weekend, the readings reminded us of the importance of reconciliation through fraternal dialogue and mutual love. On this 24th Sunday, the readings invite us to reflect on forgiveness. It is a very important element of reconciliation, and our Christian belief.

In the first reading of today, we are told we must forgive each other for “wrath and anger are hateful things”. In today's second reading, Paul reminds us of something very important. “The life and death of each of us has its influence on the other.” Also, our ability to forgive has a great influence on the other, as well as, on ourselves. Hence, it is important to note that, forgiveness has a double effect. It is a single dose medicine that cures one or many persons at the same time. It liberates the one who is forgiven, as well as, heals the one who forgives.

In today’s gospel, Christ takes forgiveness to a different and practical level. This unfolds in the dialogue between Peter and Christ. Peter asked a theoretical question: “How many times must I forgive my brother?” Jesus answered him in the most practical way: “seventy-seven times.” Christ’s response, simply reminds us that Christian forgiveness does not have limits. We must forgive all, always and forever. Hence, to demonstrate this, Jesus tells a parable about the kingdom of heaven. The wicked servant was forgiven a great debt, but he could not forgive his neighbor a little debt. He was set free, but he jailed his neighbor. The message of this parable is that we must treat others mercifully. We must forgive, because God forgives us every day. We must not always hold our neighbors to contempt. Rather, we must consider their situations as God considers our situation always.

‘Forgive always’ means to restore unity, to believe that it is possible to walk together towards a common goal. It means to heal a wound, without leaving a scar. Jesus concludes by stressing heartfelt forgiveness. It goes beyond mere words and actions, demanding a true internal transformation. Forgiveness and letting go require substantial effort. Finally, he who forgives act like Christ. Have a Happy and Blessed Sunday!

Yours in Jesus,

Fr. Doss