Mt 18:21-19:1 Who Needs Forgiveness?
Who needs forgiveness? All of us! And this is the key to forgiving all others.
If humans are animals, then the origin of forgiveness is not human. If humans are animals, then evil does not exist. The moment we say we are more is the moment we open a door, and the door is Christ, the one who leads us to Heaven.
Forgiveness is what Christ did, and he did it more than anyone else ever did. Take the Gospels in your hands, look and see, read and understand. The Lord called it by various names: mercy, compassion and repentance. Forgiveness is in His prayers; it is in the Lord’s Prayer! He spoke various parables like the lost sheep or the lost coin to emphasize it. He told stories like the Prodigal Son and the King’s Servants to illustrate its irrationality. Yes, forgiveness does not make sense! It is not rational. It is purely irrational! Do not forget, from the Cross, Jesus said to his enemies, “Forgive them.” And soon after, the earth opened; the tombs emptied; the Heavens rejoiced!
I used to preach it but no more! I used to tell others that we cannot live without forgiveness. I am not convinced at all that we cannot live without forgiveness. We can; and too many of us, including myself, are living proofs that we can live without it! We have an instinctive ability, a type of defense mechanism that enables us to forget or obscure the wrong we have done, and to hold on to or exacerbate the evil done to us! Let us not fool ourselves, brothers and sisters. We are more than capable of living our lives without remorse and without mercy. I will grant you that it is a horrible existence, a warrior’s existence, a “watch your back” existence which is a pitiful existence; but it is still living. Thankfully, we have been called, by the grace of God, to evolve into a higher being – higher than a human being! We have been called to evolve into a Saint.
What does forgiving one’s brother do for me? It brings about a settlement; not with your opponent, but with God! When I forgive someone who has harmed me, I am simply paying out a portion of the debt owed for the wrong I have done to others. And this is pleasing to the Lord. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Today, the Lord describes His Father as a King who forgives his debtors, etc… Forgiveness is Heaven’s business! It is Heaven’s stocks! It is the eternal cities stock market exchange where the value and the shares are constantly increasing!
“That is why the Kingdom of Heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants…A debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount…Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.”
Forgiveness is not something that you think about. It cannot be rationalized. It will not be fully understood. It must simply be done out of faith, in imitation of the Lord. And what we do in faith, we give witness to hope.
Forgiveness makes love real. And we all need love. Love makes life worth living.
The Lord invites us to make love real – seven times seventy times!