Jesus said to his disciples,
“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
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.”
And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
I just arrived at Mundelein Seminary to visit our nine seminarians studying here. It is one of the most beautiful places in this country. I will try to post a picture or two tomorrow.
Part of the Good News is God’s incredible mercy. He forgives us over and over again as long as we ask for His mercy sincerely. But He also asks us to share this mercy with others. We pray every day, “…forgive us our sins AS we forgive those who have sinned against us…” We so desperately want God to forgive us, but we are often slow to forgive others. When someone hurts you and you are having a difficult time trying to forgive them, try to imagine how much God loves that person. If God is waiting to forgive them, why shouldn’t I?
Are we agents of God’s mercy in the world?
Do we forgive others regularly?
Jesus tells us today that sin is inevitable. It happens. We sin against God and others. Others sin against God and against us. If those who sin against us ask for forgiveness, as disciples (followers) of Jesus it is our duty to forgive them – over and over again. Forgiving someone is not an easy task! We cannot do it alone. We must ask for divine help in order to forgive like Jesus.
Usually when someone sins against us in the same manner two times, we are ready to hold a grudge against them. We might forgive them once, but if they repeat the offense we are sure it was intentional. Right?
How did Jesus respond to those who beat Him, spat upon Him and crucified Him? He looked up them with love and turned to His Father for help, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
If Jesus turns to the Father for strength, how much more do we need to turn to God our Father for strength?
Have you ever had to forgive someone repeatedly?
Lord, increase our faith. Increase our capacity to love. Help us to forgive and to share your mercy with others. Thank you for your mercy in my life. Thank you for forgiving me freely every time I sin against you and others. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. May I freely forgive others who have sinned against me as you so freely forgive me for my sins.