The Gospel reflection today is all about God’s mercy, love, compassion, and forgiveness. Last Sunday, Jesus encourages us with one of the challenging instructions on how to correct our brothers and sisters in love and charity. Today’s readings give us even more challenging and personal instructions on forgiveness.
In the Gospel, we heard how the parable was likened to a King who forgave his debtor, and his debtor never forgave his own. At that, his master summoned him and said to him; ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”
The Gospel is a reminder for us to always show God’s love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness to one another. Hence, Jesus encourages us to forgive as many times as we can. When Jesus forgave our sins, he expects us to do the same. It’s important we reach out to them in love and kindness. Our God is so kind and merciful. The responsorial Psalm tells us today that; “the Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.” Our God is a good God, is kind, loving, and merciful. I encourage you to hold unto Jesus, for he is Our Lord and Savior. He forgives all our sins and our past; He wants us to trust him and do the same. At Mass… Jesus said: “This is the Chalice of my Blood… which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me… In other words, extend same love and forgiveness to others.
Forgiveness is all about reconciliation. We, as Christians and Catholics are privileged to have the Sacrament of reconciliation in our Church. It helps us to build our relationship with God. Forgiveness may be very hard at times to express, thinking about those who may have hurt us or offenses we may have suffered and the way we may have reacted. We may still be angry and resentful about the betrayal, abuse, lying, being insulted or ignored, destroying one’s reputation, injustice, etc.; However, God does not look at it that way. The main point is about reconciliation and forgiveness, not retaliation. Our God is still on the throne fighting our battles. The battle is not for us but for God. The scripture tells us that; “Sometimes, if we are to succeed and win victory, the Lord has to be the One to fight the battle…” (2 Chronicles 20:1-29)
The First reading from the book of Sirach expressed; “…Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Could anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the LORD? Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself, can he seek pardon for his own sins? If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath, who will forgive his sins? Remember your last days, set enmity aside; remember death and decay, and cease from sin! Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor; remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.”
Saint Paul admonishes us again in the second reading to always live for the Lord, He says; “None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord…”
Let’s continue to live for the Lord by the way we live our lives in our words and actions and in the way we show God’s love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness. Let go of your past, forgive and move on and let the plan of God be fulfilled in your lives and in your families.
God is good…all the time.
God bless you.
Fr. Daniel E. Ogbeifun