Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
February 26, A.D. 2008
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Psalm 25:4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9
A reflection on today's Scripture:
How Often Must I Forgive?
Oh, what a terrible question, and what a terrible answer!
Because in this Jesus speaks a truth that resounds through anyone who has been terribly hurt by another. When Jesus tells us we must forgive seventy times seven times, He speaks not only a law, but a truth of the human mind. We make up our minds to forgive. We decided, in the light and with the help of grace, to forgive. And then the old human self bubbles up with its bitterness and its shallowness and its lonely, love-lacking tendencies and says, "Why should I forgive? I've been hurt, I have a right to exact restitution for how I feel." And then it starts again. We must work over and over and over again, often to forgive merely one offense.
But with Christ all things are possible. He does not ask us to forget that we were hurt, nor does He ask us to try to justify the hurt or make out that as bad people we actually deserved the injustice heaped upon us. What He asks us to do is recognize the brother or sister before us. He asks us to see ourselves not as individuals, not as isolated beings each with his or her salvation neatly wrapped up in a box, but as members of one vast, selfish, dysfunctional, but desperately loving family. We hurt each other more often than we help. But even our lashing out is in some ways striking out for love, looking to fill the emptiness within.
We are not asked to justify the sinner, but merely to acknowledge that we too fail and stand in the need of forgiveness. And as we work to forgive, we open ourselves up to the grace of His forgiveness, which works here and now to help us to become more forgiving. We can then begin to pray and hope in the covenant that we repeat to God several times a dayś"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." We say, "We forgive and we know what a great relief it is to the person receiving that grace; allow us now to experience it for ourselves."
We don't work alone in this. We must always recall, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
- JuandelaCruz |
February 26, 2008
Tuesday of the third Week in Lent
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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