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Thursday, September 13, 2001

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St. John Chrysostom

Colossians 3:12-17
Psalm 150
Luke 6:27-38

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forgiveness by god's standards

"Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you." —Colossians 3:13

Jesus commands us: "Forgive, and you shall be forgiven" (Lk 6:37, our transl). Jesus commands us to forgive 70 x 7 times (Mt 18:22), or we will be handed over to the torturers (Mt 18:34). Jesus commands us to forgive from our hearts (Mt 18:35), as the father of the prodigal son and his prodigal brother reached out to his sons with love and mercy (Lk 15:20ff). Jesus even commands us to love and forgive our enemies (Lk 6:27), for we cannot love them unless we forgive them. Jesus even made excuses for those who crucified Him when He prayed: "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34). As followers of Jesus, we too should make excuses for those we have forgiven.

It is obviously impossible to forgive by God's standards. As Alexander Pope said, "To err is human; to forgive is divine." Only by God's power can we meet God's standards for forgiveness. Right now, by God's grace, pray the "Our Father." Deliberately ask to be forgiven as you forgive your worst enemies (Mt 6:12). Receive the miracle of forgiveness.

Prayer:  Father, grace me to forgive as Jesus forgave on the cross.

Promise:  "To you who hear Me, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you and pray for those who maltreat you." —Lk 6:27-28

Praise:  St. John wrote: "I have what He has written; that is my staff, my security, my peaceful harbor."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001