Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard the passage from the Holy Scriptures, which message is very clear, asking us all to practice mercy and forgiveness in all things, as well as humility and sincerity in seeking to purify ourselves and free ourselves from our chains and bonds of sinfulness. We should not judge others unjustly and thinking that we are in the position to place ourselves as better than others, as we too were once sinners like them.
We heard Jesus speaking to Peter and to His other disciples, when he asked Him about forgiveness of those who have slighted or offended them. When we look at how mankind normally deal with this, our human nature would have made us to be angry against those who have slighted us, and we would have sought to make a revenge against them, and inflict on them the same pain that they have caused to us.
But Jesus reacted otherwise and told us to do things differently. He told Peter and the other disciples to forgive those who have wronged them, many, many times. Jesus told Peter not just to forgive seven times, but seventy-seven times. Did Jesus tell Peter and the other disciples to literally forgive their enemies seventy-seven times precisely? No, it is not what Jesus meant.
What Jesus wanted from them, and thus from all of us is that we all should learn to forgive one another our sins, so that we may always learn to let go of our anger, our jealousy and all of our hatred on others, and learn to forgive those who have caused us harm and those who have ill-intent on us. That means, we must have the heart to forgive others, and must have the heart filled with love that will love and care for all our brethren regardless of what they have done to us.
It is important for us to learn to love as our God has loved us, and to learn to forgive as God has loved us. We are all called to follow our Lord and Father in all the things that He has done. Just as children learn from their fathers and therefore gain good things that their fathers had done, thus, we too imitate our Lord in all the things that He had done, and take them up as our own.
This is because we cannot be hypocrites, those who profess faith in the Lord and yet our actions and words speak otherwise. This will instead bring scandal to our faith. How can people believe in us when we preach to them about the Lord, if our actions by themselves have made us all liars and hypocrites? How will people then listen to the Lord and His truth, if they see how wicked our actions have been?
If God has forgiven us all many, many times, even though we are sinners through and through, then we too must forgive one another, and seek to be forgiven ourselves. We have to learn to forgive those who have hurt us, just as we have to remember that we ourselves are sinners too. If we condemn others, then we ourselves will be condemned, and if we do not forgive others, then we too should not deserve to be forgiven. No one is truly beyond redemption.
It is not up to us to decide the fate of others around us, in the matters of sin and forgiveness of those sins. But we can do our part to do what our Lord had told us to do, that is to forgive others their faults, just as we heard in our Lord’s Prayer, that we ask God to forgive our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.
Let us in this season of Lent be model for one another in faith and in our lives. Let us commit ourselves anew to God and love Him and His creations, that means loving one another with all of our hearts, and devoting ourselves in love to the less fortunate ones among us. May God bless us in our endeavours, and may He awaken in our hearts the charity, care and concern for each other, that through our loving actions, we may be absolved from our sins and be brought into the life everlasting in God. Amen.