Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent
Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Matthew 18:21- 35
In our Gospel, Peter asks, “How often must I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” So, do we wait for the 78th time and then let it all lose? Our readings bring us to what we all struggle with, and that is forgiveness.
Think of the person or persons we struggle to forgive, now hold them in prayer.
How do we forgive?
1.) Forgiveness does not originate with us, but with God. We do not choose to forgive. We only choose to share in the forgiveness we have been given. We need to see forgiveness as a process of growing in God’s grace. Because there may be times when we just can’t forgive, and all we can do is choose to “want” to forgive.
2.) Forgiveness, for Jesus, is not a number, but a way of life in Christ. It is a way to move forward when we are stuck in pain. It does not mean we condone the behavior, but we release the power to want to seek revenge. We look to the future rather than the past.
3.) There is no easy way to forgiveness. Do not let anyone tell you it is easy. Do not listen to someone when they say, “Just get over it!” Or “Just give it up to God.” We need to go through the process, thinking there is an easy way cheapens the process and can lead to more guilt.
We will get an opportunity to practice this virtue sometime today. Now think again of the person or persons we struggle to forgive. How will we do? Will it be seven times, or seventy-seven times?