Today's first reading is a beautiful prayer from a guy standing in a fiery furnace - the prayer of Azariah. Read about his trust in God's providence. Our Gospel reading is from Matthew 18, where Peter asks Jesus how many times he must forgive a brother who has sinned against him.
Jesus says, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times." He then goes on to tell a story about a man who was forgiven a great debt, but refused to forgive someone a much lesser debt. The consequences were dire. Jesus ends with, "So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."
You're familiar with the phrase, "Fake it til you make it." This is often the case with forgiveness. It is hard work. And if at first you really just have to fake it, keep at it. Even if we just say we forgive (and maybe don't really mean it), I believe that if we keep at it, eventually it will be from our heart. And hopefully, as we do that more and more, the process will become quicker, and even second nature.
Father, help us to forgive from our hearts, as you forgive us. Amen.
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