Exercising Our Forgiveness Muscles

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In today’s first reading from Joshua 3, we see a miracle that rivals the parting of the Red Sea. Do you know about it? Read it!  And in the Gospel reading (Matthew 18:21-35), Jesus tells Peter he must forgive “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Jesus then goes on to tell the story of a man who failed to forgive after being forgiven. It didn’t end well for that guy.

Having mercy and forgiveness for others can be a real trick for us, can’t it? Have you ever heard the saying, “We want justice for everyone else and mercy for ourselves.” How true that is. When Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive as many as seven times, I’m sure he thought he was being quite magnanimous. But, once again, Jesus sets conventional wisdom on its ear.

Forgiving even once can be a monumental task. But forgiving is much like exercising. The more we do it, the easier it becomes. So let’s exercise our forgiveness muscles today. Think of that one person that you find it hardest to forgive. Then make the decision to forgive them. And do it again, and again, and again, and again.

Father, thank you for your mercy and endless forgiveness. Help us to be more like you today and tomorrow and the next day and the next…

Today’s Readings

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