Eat That Elephant!

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Today’s first reading from Daniel 3 contains one of the most beautiful and heartfelt prayers in all of Scripture. It is the prayer of Azariah, while he was in the fiery furnace. Take some time today to read it over; to pray the prayer with Azariah. I think you’ll be touched.

In the Gospel reading from Matthew 18, Peter asks Jesus, “How often must I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus replies, “Not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Some translations render it “seventy times seven times.” Of course, Jesus means that there should be no end to our forgiveness, just as there is no end to God’s forgiveness. But what’s in a number? I want to offer a different perspective today. I would say that we need to only forgive once. Controversial? Let me explain.

Have you ever heard this question: How do you eat an elephant? The answer is one bite at a time. Don’t think about the whole elephant. Just take that first bite, and think only about that. I believe the same principle applies with forgiveness. If we think about having to forgive someone who has hurt us or offended us over and over again, 490 times even, it can easily overwhelm us. God, I just can’t do that! It's an elephant! And God says, okay, fine. Can you take just one bite - forgive just this one time? And that’s all we need. If anger and resentment and bitterness rear their ugly heads again somewhere down the road, even a few seconds later, then all we have to do is take another bite - forgive right then. Just once. Try it today. Eat that elephant! Forgive, just once.

Father, give us the grace to forgive, just once, just for now. We thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today's Readings

Learning Catholicism is like eating an elephant! And you can do it one bite at a time with A Minute in the Church! Order today at


  • Steve: March 23, 2022

    Always good stuff Mr Gus. Adore your radio show as it lifts my spirit through the day. Blessings my brother!

  • Carl: March 23, 2022

    Not “controversial” at all Gus – makes sense!

    You reminded me of a friend who has been in a 12-step program for 40+ years. He is one of the few people I have ever met who has the patience of a saint. He has the uncanny ability to take just about everything in stride.

    I asked him his “secret” some years ago and just smiled. He shared that he applies the problem of never being able to drink again to just not taking the first drink to life in general.

    Solutions need not always be complicated.

  • Cathy S: March 23, 2022

    Wow, Gus!! You hit it out of the park today with your meditation! I have an in-law nearby that I frequently seem to be at odds with, in trouble with or at fault for something. So eating the elephant one bite at a time is a great visual for me to help keep me from focusing on being wounded frequently and to show God’s love for her. This one’s a keeper!
    Thanks again and many blessings on you for sharing your thoughts on His words…

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