Most of the prayer intentions we see in Facebook Live during Online Masses are about healing and recovery, getting a job, living a long and happy life, or about passing the examinations. However, it is rare to see intentions about forgiving others. How about you? Are you praying to have the heart to forgive others, especially those who have hurt you the most?
A few months ago I have a friend who has a family member who was estranged from her, such that they were not on speaking terms with one another. On the last few days before this family member passed away, I asked my friend if she had already forgiven her. She replied, “Yes, I have already, even some time ago”.
In the Gospel (Mt. 18: 21-35), when Jesus was asked by Peter,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.”
It seems Peter was eager in asking that question, only that the Lord answered him to forgive more, in an exponential manner. Jesus may have surprised Peter but this also tells us of God’s capacity to forgive us, even for the so many times that we stumble and fall in our daily journey. He will always welcome us with open arms, regardless of the sins we make. In return, He requires us to be forgiving, or else we will go the fate of the unforgiving servant in the ensuing parable.
Forgiving others is easier said than done. It is one of the most difficult challenges to do but as followers of Christ, we must embrace it with all our might. Each waking moment we should strive to forgive. We should rid ourselves of the bitterness and hurts that otherwise would affect us as well. This is also one of the lessons I learned from my Lola when she was still alive. This is what the Lord wants us to achieve; a heart free from bitterness and hurt, a heart that is happy and free.
Today, let us reflect on the person (or persons) we should forgive. No matter how difficult, let us choose to be forgiving, caring and loving. We shouldn’t give up on ourselves but continue efforts to become better followers of Christ. At the end of our life, being a forgiving person will make us really worthy of God’s mercy and forgiveness.
“I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:love one another as I have loved you.”(Jn. 13:34)