Forgiveness and Mercy

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Jesus covers a lot of ground in a few short words in today’s Gospel reading from Luke 17. Par for the course, eh? He talks about causing others to sin, forgiveness and faith. I want to concentrate on forgiveness today.

Jesus said, “If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” Tough stuff. I mean, if someone wrongs you a couple of times, I can see forgiving then. But when they continue to wrong you over and over? Seems to me forgiveness gets harder each time. Maybe it’s just me…

I think forgiveness may be so hard because we all too often impute motives that may not be there. In other words, we tend to automatically think the worst of someone. Perhaps talking things over and sharing our thoughts and our wounds would go a long way to an easier path to forgiveness. I believe that for the most part, people are doing the best they can. Sometimes we just can’t seem to get out of our own way. I think people don’t often hurt others, especially those they love, on purpose. I believe God knows that about us. Maybe that’s why mercy comes so easily for him.

Father, give us the grace to forgive, over and over again, as you do for us. Amen.

Today’s Readings

Do you think your parish would benefit from learning more about the faith? Introduce your pastor to A Minute in the Church, and ask if he would be willing to give copies away to every family in the parish this Christmas. (Note: He may be very interested if he knew they were just $1 a copy!) Find out more at


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