SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
FEBRUARY 23-24, 2019
“Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
Jesus tells us over and over again throughout the gospels that we need to forgive those who offend us, who hurt us and those we love. But forgiveness can be difficult. Holding on to anger and resentment create a sense of power and control. But I have learned that the real power lies in forgiveness.
Some time ago, there was a person who betrayed me in a most devastating way. I felt justified in my anger and resentment toward this person. I wanted her to suffer like she made me suffer. I knew that I should forgive her, but I didn’t think it was fair that she should get away with what she did to me.
It took several years, a lot of prayer, and many counseling sessions; but eventually I no longer wished this person harm. In my mind, I had forgiven her. I considered writing a letter to let her know, but since she had not asked me to forgive her, I withheld that information from her.
Then, one day the person arranged to be at a social gathering where I would also be in attendance. She asked if she could speak to me privately and I reluctantly agreed. The person took my hands in hers, placed her forehead against mine, and pleaded with me to forgive her. It was then that I released her from her debt to me by telling her that I had forgiven her some time ago. But when I got up to leave that room, I felt like a tremendous weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I felt lighter. I felt free!
Resentment is a heavy burden to bear. Maybe that’s why Jesus tells us that we need to forgive. He carried the weight of every sin on his back on his way to Calvary. Therefore, there is no need for us to bear the burden of sin – our own or that of others. So, we must learn to accept God’s forgiveness for our sins, and to cooperate with God’s grace in forgiving others.
Forgive someone today and set yourself free!
~ Kathleen Foehrkolb