Daniel 3:25, 34-43
The Gospel of the day begins with the question of St. Peter. Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? The answer is quite interesting, not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.
The two takeaways from the Gospel are the freedom to question and the characteristics of forgiveness. Questioning someone in today’s world leads to complications. The reason behind it could be lack of information, hurting of ego, etc. In today’s incident, Jesus is neither shying away from answering nor He is shutting off the question but answers through a parable, making it understandable and meaningful. This is the first takeaway from the Gospel of the day. As parents, teachers, and leaders in various responsibilities, we need to have a listening ear, openness to understand, and genuine answers to give when a question is put forward.
I ask you, how often do you think Jesus would forgive me my sins? Seven times? or seven times seven or seventy -seven times? Rather would He not forgive me as often as I go to Him with a contrite heart? And the reason He does so is not because of my sin but because the compassion and merciful Love of God is greater than my sin. I forgive my fellow human being not because he/she will not sin any more but because my Christ would do so. It’s not easy to forgive but that is what is most pleasing to God. “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48).
Let’s pray for the grace to listen and reply and the grace to accept the one who hurts me and forgive him/her.
Sony Marsilin Kannanaikal CP is a Passionist priest, he lives at St.Joseph’s Community, Hobart.