Indictment and Aspiration

Matthew 18:21-35

“and forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those

who trespass against us;”

Between Eucharist, the Liturgy of the Hours and an occasional decade of the rosary, I pray those words several times every day.  That frequency may partially explain why I can easily take them for granted. I sometimes fail to ponder their import.  There’s a good reason why:  it would be too scary.  The truth is, I am not always forgiving and those words of the Lord’s Prayer can read like an indictment. 

Forgiveness is a choice as well as a grace.  I can either let go of the persons or things that are bedeviling me or I can hold onto those people, conflicts, hurts, resentments, senses of entitlement and grievance, pride—whatever keeps me from moving through life with a deeper spirit of compassion, understanding, humility, peace and the desire that God bless or heal that person or situation in whatever way is needed, just as God has blessed and healed me so many, many times. 

Seeking forgiveness is likewise a choice as well as a grace.  I can either choose to hide behind my fig leaf of pride, shame or justified anger, or I can confront the truth of who I am and what I’ve done and try to make amends for it.

Thankfully, God gives us time—a lifetime—to learn to forgive.  Jesus shows us the way. +