Forgiveness...easy as pie

Readings for Thursday August 13, 2009

First Reading: Joshua 3:7-10,11,13-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 114
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-19:1

That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.

How many times have you or someone you know said, "I want to forgive, but it is just to hard." It is true, that it is difficult to forgive others who have wronged us, but I don't think that forgiveness is supposed to be hard. I believe that forgiveness is hard because we make it hard for ourselves. For some strange reason we don't want to let go of the memories or the wrongdoing against us. Part of this is a protective measure to make sure that no one can hurt us like that again. Part of it is that we tend to like to play the victim, but we must be very cautious of self-pit for it is an emotion that can trap us and make us unable to forgive.

The reason I say that forgiveness really isn't that hard, and that it is we that make it hard is because God calls us to forgive. God doesn't give us anything that we cannot handle, and He certainly would not tell us to forgive someone who wrongs us seventy seven times, unless we can handle it. I think that today's parable is not to jut teach us that we need to forgive like the Father does, but to also tell us too that it is easy to forgive that it is just a choice that we all need to make. The servant was shown just how easy it was to be forgiven by the king, but he did not take that lesson to heart, he only had his own selfish interests in mind. If only the servant would have realized that it is so much easier to forgive than to hold onto his greed.

We must remember how easily our Father in heaven forgives us each day. Shouldn't we be able to make this choice as well? I think that the more that we keep in mind how quick God is to forgive us, and the more that we do it, then forgiveness can be an action that comes more easily for us.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord help us to choose love and to be able to forgive those around us easier, as you forgive us each day. Lord we are not worthy of your mercy and forgiveness, but you still give it to us. Lord we thank you for your abundant love and mercy, help us to let your light shine through us so that others may come to know your truth. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Matt. 18:23-27)


  1. Hi Jimmie,

    This is Katherine, I'm about to be baptized as a Catholic in Easter this year.

    I understand that forgiving others should be easy, but what about the residue? Would you trust that person again and keep him/her close to you again? Isn't it asking for troubles if you do? Can we forgive them but put them at arm's length after they have wronged us??


  2. Katherine,
    First of all Congratulations on your baptism and coming into the Church! This faith we share is such a blessing, and truly a gift from a Father who loves and cares for us so much.

    As far as your question about forgiveness ... it is such a great question, and one that certainly has no easy answers. First of all, I want to point out that I am certainly no spiritual director, and if you are having difficulties with an issue, then I would certainly advise you to seek out spiritual guidance from a priest.

    I believe that we need to forgive everyone who has wronged us; I don't think that we need to totally forget what the person has done. For example, if someone steals from you, it is important to forgive that person, but it might not be the best idea to put that person in charge of all your accounts. There are also many situations where the person is a close family member, certainly no easy task of keeping them "at arm's length." I think after we forgive someone then it is important to keep praying for them, especially if that person is heading down a wrong path, if there is an opportunity to keep them close and mentor them or help them in any way then that may be something God is calling us to do. A lot of what to do after depends upon the direction that person is heading, if they are headed down a wrong path that may drag you along, then it may be necessary to cut ties with that person and keep praying for them, and also be there when they need help.

    I hope this provides some guidance, once again I certainly recommend spiritual direction from a priest, as these are just some of my thoughts.

    God bless!



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