The Gospel this Sunday is one of many where Jesus’ teaches on forgiveness. I was so fascinated the first time I found that “seventy times seven” means infinite. But, to forgive one thing is quite a challenge, so how is it possible to forgive without any limits?
When it comes to real-life forgiveness, my mind immediately turns to St John Paul II who sincerely forgave his would-be assassin in 1981. He even visited him in prison and prayed for him. Not long ago we also saw in the news how a Sydney mother forgives the alleged drunk driver who killed her three children. Personally, these two examples are mind-blowing and a work of miracle!
Speaking of miracles, we all know who is behind it. God is there.
Great things happen when we rely on God. So does sincere forgiveness, it comes from Him when we ask Him for the power of humility to forgive.
Jesus also warned us about the “unforgiving servant” described in the parable (in my accounting profession I translate it as the “wicked debtor”). I’m sure none of us want to be the “wicked debtor” who was forgiven by the master but not forgiving others. Yet, we often forget this when we are outraged by our colleague and fellow volunteers in our Parish. We then have the tendency to irritate them back to repay what they have done to us.
Flashback a few months during the COVID-19 lockdown, I experienced a similar situation in which I got very annoyed with people I trust were bad-mouthing behind my back. It almost made me quit volunteering, but thankfully as I prayed for God’s grace, I was strengthened and I learned to understand their situation. I was also reminded of my main purpose in serving others is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God). Eventually, I was able to forgive them.
Why does God want us to forgive others? I believe because forgiveness sets us free from the torture of sins should we pursue a vengeance path. Forgiveness simply is a sign of love. Let us spread more love so everyone can see a light of hope in this pandemic.