Fr Stefan reflection for the day Aug 14 “Forgive from the heart”

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 the fellow servant 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.</pHis 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 his brother from his heart.”

When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee

and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan. (Mat 18:21-19:1)

Raymond LLoyd Richmond in his book, ‘Psychology from the Heart’ writes, “To forgive someone means that you consciously make the decision to set aside any desire to see a person hurt because of the hurt he or she caused you, and instead you wish that the person will recognize his or her hurtful behavior, feel sorrow for it, and learn to be a more considerate person.

I have seen individuals, for example, who have lost a family member because of a crime. The survivors’ anger and desire for revenge poison their entire being. They so focus on what they’ve lost, and what they wanted from the dead person to be, and do, for them, that they completely miss the opportunity they’ve been given to learn about real love. Instead, they seem to believe that hatred, even to the point of capital punishment, will satisfy their thirst for vengeance and will somehow bring them healing.

So with hardened hearts and stiff lips, they say, ‘I’ll never forgive.’And the sad thing is that in wishing to send someone to hell they end up sending themselves there as well. Think about that. In effect, to tell someone to go to hell-to matter what language you say it in- is to send yourself there as well.”

There are only two things that we are allowed to hate. That is the devil and sin. We are never allowed to hate a person. Why is that? The answer is that when we hate a person we become what we hate.

Thought for the day: Who do I need to to forgive today? Jesus tells us that this forgiveness must be real. Jesus tells us, “So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgive his brother from his heart.”

Prayer for the day

Jesus I desire to forgive this person

Help me to forgive this person

Send the Holy Spirit to change my heart so that I can forgive from my heart.

Jesus you know that I want to forgive this person

Help me to forgive

Jesus send the Holy Spirit upon this person to bless them

P.S. You know that you have forgiven someone from the heart when you can pray everyday for God to bless that person.

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