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Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

My dear encountered couples:

Here we are on this forgiveness thing again. We are to forgive everybody and anybody for whatever they do to us. And then go on living our lives. But not necessarily as if they had never done it.

We are to learn lessons and become wiser not only from our offenses to others but from their offenses to us. Not to do so is to deny ourselves the education that comes only from experience. Jesus says to forgive, but I don’t notice him saying to forget. Forgiveness certainly contains the idea of forgetting in the sense that we no longer hold it against them, but not in the sense that we forget the knowledge and wisdom we gained from the experience.

And let’s admit it. Unless we become victims of Alzheimer, we will most likely remember to our dying day some of the offenses committed against us by other people including our spouse and members of our families. Also, I don’t notice Jesus saying that the person forgiven doesn’t have to make up for the offense he or she committed.

The Son of God came to earth to offer forgiveness for our offenses and reunite us with God our Creator and each other. But it took more than an “Ego te absolvo,” didn’t it? It wasn’t as simple as Jesus saying, “I and my Father absolve you of your sins,” and let it go at that. He let us know each and every offense we commit against God and our fellow men and women has to be made up for. He took our sins upon himself and showed us that justice required doing penance for them. He took upon himself our sins, then suffered and died for them; he did penance for them. We are each to join him in doing penance for our own personal sins.

As a couple, you have two things to do. Forgive each other and do penance for the sins you yourselves have committed. Neither is easy. But both are required of those who wish to be followers of Jesus Christ.

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