Remember St Matthew 18:21-35
Peter went up to Jesus and said,
‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me?
As often as seven times?’
‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.’
Sinning against another always hurts and sometimes very deeply.
Compassion allows us see how deeply the hurt effects the other
Mercy/compassion are qualities of looking beyond the hurt
to try and see why the other person acted so badly in the first place
Forgiveness is never an easy ask or grant.
It sometimes needs massive dollops of compassion and mercy,
These were two big energies in the heart of Jesus
and he urges us to develop these same energies in ourselves too.
When we forgive others we are most like God and Jesus.
We are all called as followers of Jesus to be compassionate people like him.
A Story A Jewish Biblical lesson
Mitch Albom, in his autobiographical book ‘Have a little faith’ writes…
When I was a Jewish teenager attending my religious Hebrew school, we were studying the parting of the Red Sea by God and Moses, I used yawn a lot. What is left to learn about this?, I thought to myself, I’ve heard it a million times.
I’d look across the room to a girl I like and contemplate how hard it would be to get her attention.
“Mr Albom, there is a Talmudic commentary here,” the teacher would shout at me. ‘Would you like to lead us in reading it aloud.’ Oh, great, I figure. This means translating Hebrew which for me is slow and painful. But as the story unfolds, I begin to pay attention.
After the Israelites safely crossed the Red Sea, the Egyptians chased after them and were drowned. God’s angels wanted to celebrate the enemy’s demise. God saw this and grew angry. He said, in essence: “Stop celebrating. For those were my children, too.”
“Mr Albom, the teacher asks me, what do you think of that?” . I know what I think. I think it is the first time I’ve heard that God might love the “enemy” just as much as he does us. Was I hearing right?
Years later, I forgot the class, forgot the teacher’s name, and forgot the name of the girl across the room but I will always remember that story and worry. ‘Love the enemy who enslaves and kills our people?’ Did God really mean that ?
you show us the forgiveness of God, the Father.
Help me to walk in the path of this forgiveness.
Forgive me for how I have wronged others
help me to forgive and be merciful
to anyone who has wronged me.
This is a difficult message, Lord!