About Me

My photo
This blog is simply meant to bring God the glory; no more and no less. I'd love to hear from you! Comments, questions, conversation. rebecca.labriola@gmail.com

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Forgiveness. Sunday March 20. Lent 2011.

“With whom do you need to reconcile?”

Those were the only words spoken in Friday’s homily.
This very short homily of one line has stuck with me throughout this whole weekend.
It would seem that a longer homily would be more informative but this one liner really caught my attention.

“Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.””

That was the Gospel from Matthew that brought about the one lined homily.
We are called to forgive.
And to reconcile with those whom we are not on good terms with.
“Whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.”
It’s an intimidating thought.
Even if we have done nothing wrong but someone has wronged us and we fail to forgive them, we will be liable to judgment.
We will then be at fault.
We must forgive like Jesus so unconditionally forgives us.
Forgiving someone who has done wrong to us is incredibly hard, I fully understand that, but I don’t want to withhold forgiveness from someone when Jesus has so freely offered it to me.

Forgiveness is not mumbling, “I forgive you” and continuing on being angry at the person and continuing to gossip about the wrong that they did to you.
And forgiveness does not necessarily mean saying, “I forgive you!” and then having everything go back to the way it was before.
Forgiveness does mean truly forgiving the person from your heart and acting in a Christ-like manner when you come in contact with them.
If the friendship is able to go back to the way it was before, that’s great! But it is not guaranteed and I don’t want to imply that it is. 

Forgiveness is such an important part of life, literally.
If Jesus was not forgiving, we would have not hope of eternal life.

Often, just on an emotional level, it is better for us to forgive.
Not forgiving someone who has does wrong against us can really drag us down.
The anger and pain can fester inside of us.
It is better to forgive then let emotions get out of hand.

Now, this all goes the other way around as well.
Who have you wronged?
Who do you need to ask for forgiveness from?
Who have you hurt?
Please, go and ask for their forgiveness.
You cannot expect them to be happy and want to be your best friend again but regardless, we must seek forgiveness.
I would not want to be held accountable for someone else being liable to judgment because they were holding a grudge against me.
We must at least seek forgiveness.
That is the best thing we can do.
And we should pray that the other person is willing to forgive us, even in the slightest manner.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Father, help us to forgive others who have hurt us and help us to seek forgiveness of those who we have hurt.
Help us to forgive the way that You do.
Unconditionally and unfailingly.
With whom do you need to reconcile?

No comments:

Post a Comment