Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Third Tuesday of Lent:“Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times? And Jesus answered, ‘I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” (Luke 18: 21-22)

In this brief dialogue, the Gospel presents us with one of the life problems that is common to all peoples, the fatigue in forgiving. In some lives, this arduous task coagulates in one strong occasion, even dramatic, like forgiving the murderer of a dear one, or a slanderer, or an unfaithful spouse. Jesus’ precious Word today regards the reality of these occasions of forgiveness that we come upon in our daily life. Often it is between a married couple and family relations or friendships that explode suddenly, or small unjustified accusations, harsh words, aggressive attitudes. In general, they do not come from evil intent but from momentary irritations, resentments, misunderstandings.

This is when we must immediately connect ourselves with Jesus living in our heart. Is not the mystery of His death and resurrection the ancient story that is always new of His forgiveness every time we have offended Him by our sins? Our Lord never stops gifting us with His forgiveness. From this flows the irrefutable consequence. I too am called to forgive. It is precisely here that I play out my choice to be a Christian.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to grant me the gift of easy forgiveness so that I may imitate Him.

Lord Jesus, help me to pray the Our Father with You, pausing contemplatively on the expression, ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who sin against us.’

- Living Scripture