May the word of the Lord fill you with love and bring you peace.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/032117.cfm

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.”

Forgiving is so hard when we have been hurt. Most of the time all we want is to get even, get back at the person who hurt us. But when we think about how our Lord forgives us when we sin, it should not be that hard. Revenge is against everything our Lord teaches us and Jesus showed us. When we do not forgive those who hurt us, we are only hurting ourselves. It eats at us like acid until we can bring ourselves to put aside our hurt and put out our hand in forgiveness. It takes time and you cannot do it without the help of the Lord. Forgiveness brings healing and wholeness. Who do you need to forgive?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for showing me how to forgive others. My acceptance of your forgiveness set me free to forgive others, including myself. May I never forget what you have forgiven me. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Remember your mercies, O Lord.

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