Tuesday, March 1st – Daniela Zavala
Gospel: MT 18:21-35
Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”
As I have grown older, I have realized the importance of forgiveness. However, I have also realized how much harder it has gotten to forgive. Somewhere between an adult telling me to forgive my friend for stealing my crayon to learning how to forgive on my own, I had also learned how to keep a grudge and let it grow and grow until I finally could not forgive easily anymore. Needless to say, holding a grudge always seemed easier to do. A grudge ate away the strong desire to say, “I forgive you.”
I asked myself how do I get past my pride and forgive others repeatedly like Jesus taught us to do? In theory, it should not be hard to say three words, eleven letters, and four syllables to someone who has done the unimaginable to you, but in practice, we want to be like the servant and make the offenders pay us back for every pain they have caused us. I then took a step back and realized that God forgives us countless times for the many sins we have committed without a grudge.
Because Jesus taught us that God “forgives us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us,” we must “do unto others as we want do unto ourselves.” In a previous homily, I learned that we must receive God’s mercy in our lives to be able to outpour that mercy unto others; we were then challenged to show someone a sign of mercy that day, and luckily, I was able to do so. Through forgiving others, I am able to live as a better daughter of Christ and grow stronger spiritually because it takes courage to forgive others unceasingly.
Overall, Jesus tells us to be willing to forgive this Lenten season. We need to let go of our grudges and pride in order to readily forgive others the way God forgives us.
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