From the Word of the Day
So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Luke 17: 3-6)
Jesus invites us to rebuke our sisters and brothers so that love will be concrete. Perhaps, it is easier to keep silent, more comfortable, because a rebuke may make the other feel guilty, and in a certain sense, avoid a painful confrontation, but one that opens the door to forgiveness. Humanly speaking, in the eyes of the world, forgiving someone who sins against you up to seventy times seven in a day is madness and scandalous. It is impossible. But for God, nothing is impossible. We rely on His strength to forgive. It is only in His name that we can do it. We are dealing with a faith journey. Lord, increase my faith. Only with a great deal of faith in God is it possible to reach the point of having such great love that it makes us capable of forgiving. This attitude is the expression of divine wisdom that forgives infinitely more.
Let us uproot from our heart the weeds of anger, hatred, suffering, and allow faith to enter in us, though small in our eyes, it transforms into love, forgiveness, and pardon.
Lord Jesus, you have given me sisters and brothers to walk together with me toward You. It is not easy when my heart feels wounded especially by those dear to me. But You know Lord, that I want to be free and to forgive.
The voice of Pope Francis
Forgiveness is certainly the wise way to follow in order to reach that place in Heaven. It is difficult to forgive! How much it costs us to forgive others! Think a moment. What a great gift God has given us in teaching us how to forgive, or at least, want to forgive, to make us touch by hand the Father’s mercy. Why should we forgive someone who has harmed us? Because we have been forgiven too, and infinitely more. There is no one among us who has not been forgiven. Let us think in silence about all the ugly things we have done and how the Lord has forgiven us. The world needs forgiveness. Offering the witness of mercy in today’s world is a task no one can omit. (homily at the Porziuncola 8-4-16)