Holyrood Church 715 West 179 Street, Upper West side Manhattan, USA, 212-923-3770

Lack of forgiveness usually has more effect on us than on the individual we need to forgive.

Reading: Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22.
Good morning, happy Tuesday, and many blessings my dear family.
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 18:21-35) Peter comes to Jesus and bluntly asks him how many times he needs to forgive another, be that his brother, his sister, friend, or co-worker. Peter asks if he should forgive the other person seven times?  I wonder if Peter had a family member, a spouse,  or a friend whom he had wounded multiple times.   Or was Peter simply asking the question because he wanted to hear how Jesus would answer it?
As often is the case, Jesus does not answer Peter’s question directly. Rather Jesus bluntly tells Peter that he should forgive the other person, not just seven times, but 70 times.  That is a lot of forgiveness!  It is easier to forgive another if the hurt or insult is minor.  However, when a person has been betrayed or slandered us, we may find it more difficult to forgive the individual.  This is understandable because our trust has been betrayed.
Was Peter surprised by Jesus’ answer?  Was Peter thinking of a family member or friend that he needed to forgive or was he remembering someone he had hurt or wounded? Was Peter hoping that, at some point, he would be forgiven?
Hopefully, over time, we will forgive the person who wounded us and, in this process, we will free ourselves also of the heavy burden we have been carrying.  Lack of forgiveness usually has more effect on us than on the individual we need to forgive.  Resentment and anger poison us. True, it is not easy to let go of our anger and hurt.  If we can place our anger, hurt, and resentment into God’s hands, God will heal us.  It may take a long time.
The grace is Jesus does not expect us to deal with these hurts and resentments alone.   Jesus walks with us, encourages us, and gives us the grace to let go and to forgive those who have hurt us. We must be patient with this process, and we need to keep coming back to Jesus and asking him to help us forgive. Jesus wants us to ask him to free us of this burden, this pain. Jesus is with us and He will answer our prayers!
In summary, this parable is about the mercy of God, which is one of the strongest divine qualities, if we may put it like that. Nothing except mercy born of compassion cancels a debt like the one referred to in the story. It further ends by calling us to be merciful as we have received mercy. Mercy is deeper than forgiveness; it sees into the heart of the other and walks around for a while in the others shoes. It includes compassion and active healing. ' To live in an environment of mercy is to live in an atmosphere of peace, healing, and growth. Today may we place all our burdens, our anger, and our pain in Jesus’ hands. This will lighten our loads immensely and will free us also.   Will we, do we, trust Jesus?

Date news: 
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - 11:30

Ministry at the time of Coronavirus (Covid 19): Prevent, cure and accompany

Now we have to shape what some have started calling; The Church at Home. Although I keep asking myself; What do those who do not have a home do? For this reason, at the same time, I am declaring today in our Holyrood Church a Lenten day of prayer, fasting and reading the Bible in the Time of the Coronavirus.

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