This Sunday’s Gospel reading opens with Peter asking Jesus, “…how often must I forgive?”
After answering with a parable, our Lord concludes with the warning, “So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”
Forgiveness. Sometimes it’s easy to forgive, other times not so much. I once had an injury so deep that I couldn’t find it in my heart to forgive. Plus the transgressor didn’t even ask for forgiveness. Well, after many discussions with Jesus I decided to fake it, ‘til I make it. So I started with just saying, “I forgive.” and then giving it to Jesus because I knew HE could forgive. And eventually my wounds healed until one day I realized the anger in my heart was gone and replaced with true forgiveness. Praise Jesus. I forgave from my heart. It was freedom.
Fast forward 10 years and BOOM, the original offense is brought out, tearing open my wound and exposing the pain. And, all of a sudden, the forgiveness that covered the scar was gone. I remembered being aggravated that I would have to go through the entire process again, but our Good, Good Father mercifully brought me to a place of forgiveness much sooner. The weight was lifted. I once again had forgiveness in my heart. The entire experience of re-forgiving made me think of how many times I seek forgiveness for the same transgressions. God never tires from forgiving and, with his help, may we all never tire from it. May we know the true freedom that comes from forgiving from your heart. Amen.