Thursday of the 19th Week of Ordinary Time
August 13, 2020
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
Let your countenance shine upon your servant
and teach me your statutes.
Forgiveness is divine and only a person who possess the Spirit of God can love and forgive others. Forgiveness is nothing but giving oneself to others or loving others. Jesus gave himself in the Sacrifice of love on the Cross for the Salvation of the Whole World. Human can not forgive others unless they come out from their Animal instinct in to Human image of Gods love. Animals can not forgive but fight and take life of another for gain and selfish desires. In the old testament people believed in the Law ” Eye for an Eye and Tooth for an Tooth” but Jesus changed the perception of old Law in to New Law of Love and forgiveness.
Love and forgiveness was the original Nature of Mankind before they became rebellious by renouncing the Commandments, which were Commandments of love and forgiveness. Man became rebellious by not forgiving their fellowmen and took life of each other and hence became rebellious generation of hatred, bitterness and revenge and lost the presence of God in their life. Whenever the presence of God was missing in their life the Evil became stronger in their life and Nation in the form of Pagan Kings and captured them as slaves and took them in to Exile in Captivity. God speaks through Ezekiel their unforgiveness or rebelliousness. A rebel is an offender of Gods love or miss the mark of Gods love and do just the opposite of love to hate. Hatred is a sign that Holy spirit or Gods love is absent in our heart. It is simple if a person does not forgive then he does not possess the Holy spirit of love but Evil Spirit of unforgiveness and hatred.
Unforgiveness is an offence against the Church or body of Christ because we act as Hypocrites saying in our Sacrament of reconciliation Forgive me Lord but hate our Brothers and Sister who are created in the likeness of God, this kind of repentance is an act of Hypocrisy , these kind of Confessions do not yield any graces though we are absolved by an ordained Priest who represent Jesus himself in the Confessional because our repentance is not genuine like in the story of the Scribes and the Republican in the Temple , the Scribe went unforgiven from the House of God because there was no true repentance in his prayer. Many Scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus in Hypocrite heart but went back unforgiven and empty.
When I reflect upon the Parable in today’s Gospel , I tremble in fear of the consequences of unforgiveness. This is the only place in the entire Bible Where Gods Mercy is rejected or closed to a person who has unforgiveness in his heart. Unforgiveness is not a feeling of our emotion but a decision of our will or heart. When we are angry at a person we are emotional but reacting on this Anger by an act of abuse or manhandling or slander is the act of an unforgiveness , so the offence takes place from our will not to love but to hate and hence lose the Holy Spirit from our Heart and spirit of Hatred enters in to our heart. If we do not repent and make peace with the body of Christ then this offence is called unforgiveness of our heart or rebellious heart where love of God or Holyspirit is missing.
Salvation is a message of Hope , forgiveness of our sins is a great hope to live on this Earth. When a Sinner listens to the Word of God and decides to repent in feeling , they do not repent for their sins in action but relent for their sins but grace does not operate in this act of relenting but true repentance is a decision to love God with a testimony of forgiveness.If we take Peter and Judas repentance , Judas relented by emotional weeping but did not forgive himself and took his own life by condemning himself and not believing in Gods forgiveness and love but Peter repented for his betrayal not only in emotional weeping but in a decision to face and follow Jesus at a distance to seek his mercy and love .
Humans require power from above to forgive and love. When we believe in the Gospel of love we get connected to the Holy trinity and the love of God poured in to our heart in the form of Holy spirit and when we receive this grace and when people offend or hurt us we look at them in the eyes of Gods mercy. Gods eyes are love and mercy and he wants us to be people of his eyes and ears who can see the people in eyes of Compassion and ears of patient listener.
We have experienced in the renewal Retreats , when people repent in feeling sorry for their sins the Salvation experience do not transform them but when they decide to forgive themselves and others , there is a great power of the Holy spirit, the Gods love gushing in the heart and a mighty transformation of heart takes place as the first taste of the Salvation. These same people who came with great burden of Sin and forgiveness are able to love and forgive immediately after the retreats. I recall a person who had the transformation experience did not go back to his house after the retreat but went to all people whom he had offended and the people who had offended him asking pardon and sharing his transformation experience.
Where did this strength came to him , this strength is from the Holy spirit who entered in to his heart and convicted his offence and motivated him to ask forgiveness and share Gods love to them as a testimony.
I remember an exercise given to us by the Retreat Preacher , to make list of people from our childhood till date and shortlist it in Hundreds, tens and finally the one most hurted person in our life and forgive them in the name of Jesus and love them in the name of Jesus. We must go through the process of self examination of our Conscience by forgiving everyday and asking forgiveness with God and each other and not to lose the presence and love of God in our heart.
Prayer : Lord pour out your Holy spirit in to my Heart and make us people of love and forgiveness. Amen.