Sunday VII: Forgive to be forgiven

February 23, 2020.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”  (Matthew 5, 41-43)

When the Lord asks us to love our enemies he is asking us for something that goes further than what a man by himself can do. Without the help of grace, it is impossible to meet this mandate of Christ. Perhaps we would be capable of not returning bad for bad, but that is a long way from that to doing good to someone who has hurt us. However this is what Christ asks us, because that is what he practiced.

Perhaps we would value this commandment differently if we changed our perspective. What would we think if in reality the Lord were talking not to us but to that person we have hurt and can now exercise revenge on us, returning the hit we previously gave? Is it not true that this order of the Lord does not seem so farfetched now? Is it not true that we would ask our enemy to follow it and we would even remind him that he would not be a good Christian if he did not?

When we deal with forgiveness we always think of the forgiveness we must give, but not in the one we need to receive. Perhaps we will not receive it, but we need to start by giving ours, because that may entice the other to give his and because, as Christ also said, “the yardstick you use will be used with you”. We need to be forgiven, by God and by men: so that this forgiveness may reach us, let us start by granting it to those who hurt us. This is what we say in Our Father’s prayer.

Intention: Let us start by forgiving and praying for those who hurt us and afterwards let us pray so that we are forgiven by those who were hurt by us.

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