Christ tells the parable about forgiveness: we must forgive from the heart!


 

When time after time after time we’ve forgiven the sin and the person keeps sinning against us, how long O Lord must I forgive? Peter’s question and particularly Jesus’ reply prescribe the spirit of understanding and mercy which should govern Christians’ behavior. But when we ask that question, we’re looking in the wrong direction — outward. What Jesus directs us to do is what God must do with us. Forgive as much as forgiveness is needed. God doesn’t stop at seven times seventy, or seven-hundred times seven-thousand. God never stops showering us with as much forgiveness as is required to love us into eternity. So, instead of asking, how much must I forgive, ask instead, how much do I want to be forgiven? And then act on that — it makes it a lot easier to do as God asks of us.

Listen to this as you read on.HERE

In Hebrew the figure of seventy times seven means the same as “always”, therefore, our Lord did not limit forgiveness to a fixed number, but declared that it must be continuous and forever”  Here also we can see the contrast between man’s ungenerous, calculating approach to forgiveness, and God’s infinite mercy.  There must be no end to our forgiveness for so long as those who offended us ask for forgiveness we must forgive. Even if they don’t ask forgiveness we must forgive them; let us not make ourselves as repository of hatred because this hatred that we keep in our hearts will unknowingly poison us. When we forgive we release ourselves from the bondage of hate which is actually the devils instrument for us to sin. Try letting go of the hate that has been there in your heart for so long already and see the big positive difference that it will do you. Forgive and leave everything to God. …

“Force yourself, if necessary, always to forgive those who offend you, from the very first moment.  For the greatest injury or offense that you can suffer from them is nothing compared to what God has pardoned you”

 

In the parable that Jesus tells, we clearly learn that we are totally in God’s debt.  Ten thousand talents, an enormous sum, gives us an idea of the immense value attaching to the pardon we receive from God.  Overall, the parable teaches that we must always forgive our brothers, and must do so wholeheartedly.

The first servant owed the master “a huge amount”. The second servant owed “a mere fraction”. The second debt could realistically be repaid, while repayment of the first debt was impossible. It was ludicrous for the first servant to contend that he could actually pay the master back. He was out of touch with reality. The realistic response would be to fall on his knees and beg for complete mercy rather than beg for the opportunity to repay his debt, which was impossible. Yet this servant wanted to be justified through his own actions. Out of pity, the master forgave the debt. However, the first servant still hadn’t changed his mind-set or his heart. His approach was still to satisfy debts through payment, not a write-off. So he arrested the one who owed him a debt.

If we attempt to justify ourselves with God by our efforts, we will fail, we won’t want to forgive others , and we condemn ourselves to be damned. Let’s never lose sight of how much God has forgiven us – even for a moment. Then let us totally lose sight of what others have done to us. Let us live to forgive, and forgive so as to live.

Dear Lord, today’s gospel is about not bearing a grudge. To dwell on real, or imaginary, wrongs that have been done to us by others is a sure way of making us very unhappy. Please help us to have open generous hearts ready to acknowledge that we receive your forgiveness, and to look at others with the love with which you look at us. We ask you to remind us that you have only to be asked and you will forgive us anything—so nothing that anyone does to us is unforgiveable. We pray, dear Lord, that we are conscious of your love and forgiveness in our lives and we are grateful.

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