Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Forgive your brother from your heart."

In the prayer taught by Our Lord we pray: "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

"This petition is astonishing. If it consisted only of the first phrase, 'And forgive us our trespasses,' it might have been included, implicitly, in the first three petitions of the Lord's Prayer, since Christ's sacrifice is 'that sins may be forgiven.' But, according to the second phrase, our petition will not be heard unless we have first met a strict requirement. Our petition looks to the future, but our response must come first, for the two parts are joined by the single word 'as.' " (CCC 2838)

"Thus the Lord's words on forgiveness, the love that loves to the end, become a living reality. The parable of the merciless servant, which crowns the Lord's teaching on ecclesial communion, ends with these words: 'So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.' It is there, in fact, 'in the depths of the heart,' that everything is bound and loosed. It is not in our power not to feel or to forget an offense; but the heart that offers itself to the Holy Spirit turns injury into compassion and purifies the memory in transforming the hurt into intercession." (CCC 2843)

Click here for the Scriptures for today's holy Mass.

(Art: Rembrandt, Parable of the Merciless Servant.)

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