Daily Reflection
March 5th, 2002
Tom Purcell
Accounting Department
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Matthew 18:21-35

Today Jesus calls us to open our hearts to the power of forgiveness.  One of the hardest acts for us to do is to forgive, truly forgive, from the heart.  For me it is harder to forgive someone than to admit I was wrong about something (although that is hard too!).  It is easy to SAY that I forgive someone, but to truly wipe the slate clean, to put the harm done to me in the past, to forgive AND forget, is very difficult.  Just when I think I have arrived at true forgiveness something reminds me that I may not have let go of the hurt, the harm, and repaired the relationship with the person who wronged me.

We all have opportunities to forgive.  The slights in family life, the frustrations in our professional lives, the business dealings that go awry, the giving of time to church or community or service organizations that is unappreciated in the way we anticipate.  And these are the small hurts.  Some of us are called to forgive bigger issues - crimes committed against our property or our selves, or our families, where grievous harm has been done to us.  As I write this examples abound of injuries that call for incredible love by the victims to be able to forgive - young boys abused by priests, young children murdered by their mother, retirees whose entire life savings have been reduced to nothing by acts of corporate greed.

And yet, as hard as it is to forgive, it is easy for us to ask for forgiveness.  The king's steward in today's gospel certainly shows us the two-sided coin that is forgiveness.  He was quick to ask for but slow to give the comfort of forgiveness.

Why do we believe in the power of forgiveness when we are asking for it but fail to see its power when called upon to give it?  Jesus consistently calls us to love one another as He has loved us.  God's love is the essence of forgiveness.  No matter how many times we fall short, God continues to love us.  If we are to love as God does, then we need to forgive FROM THE HEART as does God.

The love necessary to forgive grows in us the more we forgive.  Many of us pray the Our Father - forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  If we start small and develop an attitude of forgiveness of others, we will find that the love needed to forgive more hurtful actions will be there when we need it.

And so my prayer today is for the strength to forgive,

to let it go,

to  let  it  go,

to   let   it   go,

to    let    it    go.

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