In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to forgive us on one condition, that we will forgive others in our turn.

Posted in homily by frtonys on February 20, 2022

In the Gospel Reading, Jesus commands us to love our enemies. Many people suppose that no one except a saint could fulfill this command. Jesus’ message was new and shocking for the religious leaders of his day. Their law decreed “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” In other words, they were expected to strike back at those who harmed them in any way.

In today’s Gospel we see just how radical and revolutionary Jesus’ teaching must have sounded back then. It is still revolutionary in today’s world, with our dog-eat-dog mentality. The process of salvation that Jesus came to establish is based on forgiveness. In order, to be part of that process each of us must always be tolerant, forgiving , and loving.

Jesus taught us a simple prayer, the Lord’s Prayer. One of the petitions is where we ask God to forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. We can rattle off this prayer, and fail to realize the blind that this places us in.

In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to forgive us on one condition, that we will forgive others in our turn. We are impressed by the power of forgiveness shown by people like Martin Luther King, who somehow managed to turn the other cheek. The bully cannot deal with the power of the one who won’t strike back, but often resorts to violence as the only way to silence their voice of protest. To err is human, to forgive is divine. We must aim to be big-hearted, tolerant and patient. But the ideal Jesus sets for us is, “Be merciful, just as your heavenly Father is merciful.”

Do we allow emotions such as hatred and jealousy guide our spiritual lives, or do we try to be more like our Lord? Let us start forgiving right now by curbing the sharp tongue of criticism, suppressing the revenge instinct, and patiently bearing the irritating behavior of a neighbor.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: