Sometimes we talk about forgiveness as an extraordinary and heroic gesture, but for Jesus it was the most normal thing to do: being forgiven by God should lead us spontaneously to forgive others as he has forgiven us. In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus taught us to pray, saying: “and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Matthew 6:12).
When she comments on this phrase from the Lord’s Prayer, St. Teresa of Jesus expresses her surprise by saying: “This is a matter, Sisters, that we should reflect upon very much” (The Way of Perfection, ch. 36, no. 2). She admires that Jesus has set as a condition to be forgiven by God, not that we do a lot of penance or that we pray a lot, “but He said only, ‘forgive us because we forgive’” (The Way of Perfection, ch. 36, no. 7).
If we don’t make an effort to forgive others, we will not be forgiven by God either. A heart incapable of forgiving is impenetrable even for God.
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (excerpt)
13 September 2020
Translation from the Spanish text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.
Featured image: Asking for forgiveness by Juliana Muncinelli (Some rights reserved)
The last sentence is a wake up call. A group I am in has in the textbook, “We became convinced that all-round forgiveness was desirable”. Certainly experience tells me that resentment is the Thief of time.