March 2016 – Forgive Offenses
In March, we focus on the spiritual work of mercy that is perhaps one of the most radical of Jesus’ teachings. Not that forgiving is something unique or new, but the level at which Jesus calls us to forgive is extraordinary: “Lord, how often shall…I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to (Peter) “…up to seventy times seven.” (Mt 18:21-22) That’s a whole lot of forgiveness! Who among us has the deepness of compassion and mercy to forgive almost infinitely? Probably not too many of us.
Yet, Jesus tells us that we were created by God (who IS love) to love; we are to be like the Father who forgives us without question, over and over again. And the great thing about forgiveness is that not only is it following Christ’s example, but it also frees us from feelings of hurt and anger, opens our hearts to accept forgiveness, and lets people know that your love is bigger than their mistake (whether accidental or intentional). What a beautiful gift to give to someone!
During Lent, we have the opportunity to refocus our lives – away from selfishness and worry and towards faith, hope and love. Consider who might be longing for your forgiveness and take time to pray over this hurt, asking God to give you the mercy to forgive. God is surely ready to share His mercy with you; are you ready to accept it and pass it on?