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All Issues > Volume 18, Issue 5


<< Sunday, September 15, 2002 >> 24th Sunday Ordinary Time
 
Sirach 27:30—28:7
Romans 14:7-9

View Readings
Psalm 103
Matthew 18:21-35

Similar Reflections
 

FORGIVENESS AS A WAY OF LIFE

 
"My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart." —Matthew 18:35
 

We have a tendency to hug wrath, anger, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness (see Sir 27:30). This is the embrace of death, for "the vengeful will suffer the Lord's vengeance" (Sir 28:1). "He remembers their sins in detail" (Sir 28:1). If we embrace unforgiveness and its side-effects:

The effects of and deprivations resulting from unforgiveness are so devastating that they produce in us a life of torture (see Mt 18:34).

For God's sake and our own sake we must accept the grace to live lives of forgiveness. We must keep forgiving 70 times 7 times (Mt 18:22) and forgive even our enemies (see Lk 23:34). We, like the father of the prodigal sons, must show our enemies love and mercy in practical ways (see Lk 15:20ff). Because we have to forgive so many people so many times and have to express these forgivenesses practically, forgiveness should become a way of life. Forgiveness makes our lives miraculous and full of grace.

By forgiveness, choose a life of miracles, mercy, and grace rather than a life of deprivation and torture.

 
Prayer: Father, give me a lifestyle of forgiveness.
Promise: "While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as His servants." —Rm 14:8
Praise: Praise Jesus, risen Mercy!
 
(For related teaching, order our leaflets, Unforgiveness is the Cause and 14 Questions on Forgiveness or on audio AV 41-1.)
 
 
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002
 
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 18, Issue 5
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