“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” Corrie ten Boom
Forgiveness is one of those hard things Christ asks us to do. In today’s Gospel when Peter asks, “How many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? As many as seven times?” Jesus answers, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
Forgiving others is not an easy thing to do once, but 77 times? That’s a whole lot of forgiveness. It’s hard to do on our own steam. We need Holy-Spirit help to forgive with the love of Christ.
As we suffer the ill will of others we should look up at Jesus. See Him hanging on the cross, bloody, beaten, and humiliated – a crown of thorns adorning His head.
Listen to His voice: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
As Jesus forgives us our shortcomings, tempers, our being clay pots with clay feet, He asks us to forgive others, for often they don’t know what they are doing. How they hurt us, others, and themselves.
Imagine Christ’s agony when you think about the difficult people in your life. He suffered to forgive me and to forgive you. Through His Love nailed on the cross we are therefore meant to forgive and love others.
If you’re still struggling to forgive, look at the cross again until His love for you pierces your heart. When that happens, it becomes easier to forgive others with I Corinthians 13 love. (“Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”)
Don’t let pride or what “he said, she said” get in the way. Let Christ’s mercy set you free to let forgiveness bloom in your heart…
grace, peace & forgiving hearts
Virginia : )
“Lord, grant us Your mercy, so that we can always forgive.” Pope Francis