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Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: Joshua 3:7-10a, 11, 13-17; Psalm 114:1-2, 3-4, 5-6; Matthew 18:21–19:1

My dear encountered couples:

Forgiveness — such a beautiful concept, but so difficult to practice in real life. You can imagine Peter’s surprise when the Jesus answered, “not seven times, but seventy-seven time.” So different from the way of Peter’s (and our) world’s perspective. God is so much bigger and kinder than us but sometimes we can have glimpses of God’s way while we are alive.

Forgiving someone is among the hardest things Jesus told us to do. It might not be all that difficult to say “I forgive you,” but to actually mean it deep down, “from the heart” as Jesus says, takes a special kind of person.

Our big reason is that we can’t seem to control our feelings. One moment we feel in the forgiving mood, the next we don’t. Someone who has already received our wave of the hand and heard our utterance, “Forget it; it was nothing,” might later be descended upon and reminded of past offenses when we aren’t quite filled with a gentle spirit.

Digging up old offenses as ammunition in an argument is a sure sign that we have never really forgiven “from the heart.”

Let us not overlook a very important point that Jesus mentions in this story of the unforgiving servant. He had owed a huge amount of money which his master wrote off. His fellow servant owed him only a mere fraction in comparison. Yet he was not going to imitate his master and be forgiving. He even had his fellow servant thrown in jail.

In comparison to all that God has forgiven us for and written off, the sum total of all the offenses committed against us by others is but a mere fraction.

Remember that, be grateful to God for his forgiveness, seek the Holy Spirit’s help, and maybe if you live long enough, you’ll get the hang of it. May we all learn to forgive everyone seventy times seven times - from the heart.

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