Readings: Sirach 27:30, 28:7 Romans 14:7-9 Mathew 18:21-35
Theme: An invitation to forgive
On this 24th Sunday of the year A in ordinary time, the church invites us in a very special way to reflect on one attribute that is very important in our Christian life as children of God. This wonderful attribute that we all need to practice in our lives is forgiveness. The 1st reading and the gospel presents it very clearly that we all need to practice forgiveness in our daily lives if we want God to also forgive us our failings.
Our readings for today remind us about the Lord’s Prayer that we partake of in every Eucharistic celebration we attend. We ask for God’s forgiveness, just as we have forgiven those who have offended us too. Reflecting on this Sunday reading, I was just wondering whether we are conscious of the implication of that prayer that we pray repeatedly. The 1st reading and the gospel, made it very clear that we will not get God’s forgiveness if we fail to forgive those who have offended us. Is it true that each time we say the Lord’s Prayer we have forgiven all those who offended us?
Some of us may be wondering whether it is possible to forgive all those who offend us, especially knowingly and without remorse, humanly speaking it may be very difficult, but with God everything is possible. That is why if we truly desire to embrace the teaching from today’s liturgy on forgiveness, then we must go to God and pray for the grace to forgive all those who offend us. When we get God involved, his grace will guide and direct our actions and lead us to reconciliation. Forgiveness is the key for any reconciliation to take place.
Therefore if we are already striving to practice reconciliation as presented to us by Jesus in the gospel of last Sunday, then we have to take the invitation to forgive others into serious consideration. This is because when there is forgiveness, reconciliation is already within reach. With God on our side, we can forgive those who offend us repeatedly without much difficulty. Forgiveness is an attribute of God, and we need him to help us practice it in our daily lives.
Forgiveness opens the flood gate of God’s mercy upon us. It is my prayer today that God will grant us the grace of a forgiving spirit; so that as we pray God will equally forgive us our sins. Peace be with you. Amen.