By Mel Jasmin
This Sunday’s gospel teaches us about forgiveness of our enemies. Some of us find it difficult to forgive without knowing that we have experienced forgiveness by God first. We have been recipient of forgiveness before we are called to forgive! It's an amazing thing to be forgiven by God. Because of his grace poured out through Christ, we can be forgiven for all of our sins, no matter how horrendous they might be. What a wonder!
Yet when we receive God's forgiveness, we do more than rejoice in our blessing. We also become people who pass on forgiveness to others. "Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others". God's forgiveness enables us to forgive others even as it sets the standard for our forgiveness.
Jesus emphasizes the necessary connection between divine and human forgiveness. You can't have one without the other. This means one of the primary marks of the Christian will be a willingness to forgive others generously. People will know we are Christians, not only by our love, but also by our forgiveness.
So, what is the challenge to us this week? Do what is difficult to do. Forgive and have peace.