Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Forgiving from the Heart

The Lord today (Matthew 18:21-35) tells us that we must forgive "from the heart". This is a very powerful expression, because it goes beyond forgiving with our mouth or mind and gets to the most important place were forgiveness must be rooted. The heart is symbolic of the deepest part of our emotional and spiritual self. Forgiving from the heart signifies that we hold no grudge, harbor no doubt, and hang on to no suspicion about this person. It is probably one of the most difficult things for a human being to do, since it always involves "feelings", which cannot be controlled. In fact, it is our feelings that usually get in the way of forgiveness. Even when someone does something unintentional, we say that they "hurt my feelings".
But the Lord calls for us to put that aside and forgive from the heart. Why is this so important? Well, the moral of this story is that God will deal with us in the same way that we deal with others. Imagine how many times you have done things that were against what God wanted? How many times God saw what you did or heard the words that came out of your mouth and was not pleased? And how much would you like to say "I am sorry" to God and have Him truly forgive you? That is why forgiving others from the heart is so important to us. Indeed, we pray "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us", usually every day. This can be a wonderful, hopeful prayer or a condemnation. If God will forgive us in the same manner that we forgive others, what is in store for us? The question may make us uncomfortable, but we really need to meditate on it. And especially we need to ask for the grace to forgive from the heart, so that we can be forgiven by the our God.

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