Forgive, and be Forgiven!
Gospel Reflection for November 7, 2022
“If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.’” (Luke 17:3-4 NABRE)
What is your reaction when you first read this passage? Personally, after reading these verses I first thought “seven times in one day? That’s a lot of offenses to forgive.”
Sometimes we might be tempted to think:
What that person did was unforgivable. Or, what if this person is just trying to take advantage of my forgiveness? What if they don’t really, truly mean they’re sorry? Why forgive someone when I know they’re just going to wrong me again?
Yet, despite the wrongs that others commit against us, we must remember that we too, are in the wrong.
How many times have we presumed God’s mercy? How many times have we repented with our words but not with our heart? How many times have we said sorry to Jesus, only to sin again and again?
Every day we offend our Lord Jesus by our words, thoughts, and actions. And every day, we go to Him, sometimes as many as seven times, and we say, “I’m sorry.” And our perfectly merciful Lord Jesus Christ forgives us every. single. time.
Jesus told us that “if you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
When someone wrongs us, we must remember that we are also in need of forgiveness. So, do not withhold your forgiveness from others, but rather, strive to follow our Lord’s example of merciful love. Love and forgive just as Jesus has loved and forgiven you.