Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Johnson Joseph Thurackal CMF

There is much wisdom in the proverb: “the noblest vengeance is forgiveness.” The word of God reiterates that forgiveness has no limits or conditions. It is the greatest gift one can give and receive. Forgiveness builds us up and helps us to move on. Unforgiveness causes our hearts much needless pain and robes us of many precious gifts o God within. Hate destroys before anyone else the hater and the first victim of violence is the one who commits it.

Answering to Peter’s question about forgiveness, Jesus tells the sad story of the servant who is forgiven a huge debt by his master and who in turn treated mercilessly a fellow servant who owes him only a small debt. The master punishes the wicked servant and Jesus warns his disciples they too will face a similar fate "unless they forgive their brother or sister from the heart.”

Forgiveness is God’s last word to us. Believing in a God who forgives places a responsibility upon us. The Greek word for forgiveness (aphiemi) has a connotation to unbind or liberate completely. In forgiving we unbind ourselves and the other and help them not to repeat the wrongdoings. Refusing to forgive is to bind oneself and the other leave them helpless. By forgiving we also dispense God’s grace to others. St. Faustina testifies to this in her diary: You must let the Divine Mercy so enter your soul that you not only forgive, but also allow this Mercy to fill your heart with compassion.  You must let God’s Mercy inspire you to love deeply.  You must come to pray for those who have hurt you and, in doing so, dispense the grace of God to them.  You are a dispenser of God’s Mercy when you allow forgiveness to flow from your heart to the hearts of those who have hurt you.

We can thus actualize the words of Jean Paul Richter: Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness and forgiving another”


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