11 August, Thursday
Readings: Ezek 12:1-12; Mt 18:21-19:1
Feast: St. Clare, Virgin
“How often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus says, “Not seven times, seventy seven times.” It means many, many times. Forgiveness cannot and should not be denied to anyone. “Forgiveness is man’s deepest need and highest achievement” (Horace Bushnell). The ‘parable of the unforgiving servant’ enlightens and teaches us a great lesson. It provokes outrage and condemnation of the servant who was forgiven a large debt and he himself could not forgive a small debt of his neighbour. We ourselves assume the same kind of attitude and behaviour. We receive unending and infinite mercy and compassion of God and we often fail to be merciful and compassionate to our neighbours. We deny forgiveness to them, where we ourselves received forgiveness of the Lord.
When we deny love and forgiveness, we are creating a hell here in this world and create a space for the evil to establish its kingdom of hatred, division and violence. Why there is so much violence in the world? Am I part of it in any way? The cause of all this is lack of love and forgiveness. Let us earnestly pray for the strength to forgive one another and thus taste the joy of forgiveness to reconcile ourselves with God and with one another.