the only source of forgiveness
"Should you not have dealt mercifully with your fellow servant, as I dealt with you?" —Matthew 18:33
"We, for our part, love because He first loved us" (1 Jn 4:19), and we forgive because the Lord first forgave us. Our being forgiven by God is the source of our forgiving others. The Lord says to each of us: "I had pity on you" (see Mt 18:33). When the older brother of the prodigal son focused on how much better he had been than his younger brother, the older brother refused to forgive and thereby showed that he too was a prodigal son (Lk 15:29ff). When we focus on the injustices done to us, we will not accept the grace to forgive. However, when we "look on Him Whom [we] have pierced" (Jn 19:37) and tremble in thanksgiving at the awesome forgiveness the Crucified has given us, the forgiveness that has come to us will go through us even to our worst enemies.
Alexander Pope said "To err is human; to forgive is divine." Therefore, God's forgiveness for us is the only source of forgiveness. This source of forgiveness is inexhaustible. From Jesus, we can forgive seventy times seven times — indefinitely times indefinitely (Mt 18:22). Consequently, let us accept the grace to forgive everyone for every sin forever.
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit to take my attention off myself, others, or their sins. Help me fix my eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2).
Promise: "While all Israel crossed over on dry ground, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord remained motionless on dry ground in the bed of the Jordan until the whole nation had completed the passage." —Jos 3:17
Praise: St. Maximilian countered the evil of his day by prayer campaigns and by raising up an army dedicated to Mary called the Knights of the Immaculata.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Unforgiveness is the Cause, or our audio tape AV 41-1.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard L. Klug, February 27, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2003