Gospel of Matthew 18:21-35 Reflection:
Today we have Peter asking Jesus the question of how often must he forgive if wronged. There are many scholars explaining Jesus' response. In short, Jesus' response can be translated that we must forgive always...we must forgive to the end, and never take revenge, however often we are offended.
What we are instructed to do is show mercy to those who have wronged us. Think about it, how can we ask God to forgive us and then withhold mercy ourselves? There would be a schism in our heart.
Now, this forgiveness must be real, not pretended; from the heart, and not in word and appearance only; sacrificing all desire of revenge, all anger, hatred and resentment, at the shrine of charity. When we say the Lord's Prayer, our hearts and minds must be free.
Forgiveness has a two pronged effect; it alleviates the sinner but more importantly it free's the person wronged to grow. Once we forgive someone, our attitude becomes gentle, kind and our hearts will feel light.
If you find that sometimes it isn't easy to forgive, stop, close your eyes and ask Jesus to give you the Grace necessary to forgive. Our faith is not based on our abilities but on the power of God. Remember to ask for it.