Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Often times people are totally unaware of their need to forgive. When told they need to forgive a person, the first reaction of many is bewilderment. Then they usually ask why. Then they explain that they are not mad or angry at the person. Forgiveness and anger are connected in the minds of many. One does not have to be angry at someone in order to forgive them. Neither does one have to be mad at someone nor be harboring a grudge. Forgiveness is mentioned in the Our Father today by Jesus and then He goes further in explaining the need to forgive. He speaks about forgiving others trespasses and transgressions that we may be forgiven. In other words not forgiving or holding someones trespasses or transgressions against them is an impediment to our own freedom. Perhaps that is why in the Our Father forgiveness preceeds not being led into temptation and deliverance from evil. When we forgive we are free. When we forgive we are free to be led by Jesus in the way of peace. Lack of forgiveness leads us into temptation. How? We feel justified in holding against someone their trespasses or transgressions. Its seems reasonable to do so. However all that is reasonable is not necessarily right. In reality our lack of forgiveness is an act of selfrightousness. Every sin begins in selfrightousness. Holding on to a lack of forgiveness leads us into other temptations because we insist we are right in order to justify ourselves. Thus we can justify just about any sin we commit. Forgiveness and forgiving is a true deliverance from evil. Deliverance from the evil of selfrightousness, and self-justification. Forgiving then is a form of ongoing conversion. It is not about being mad or angry in a certain moment and then no longer being mad at someone. It is about not holding anything against anyone. Thus we all have many to forgive. Many who are known to us and many who are not. This Lent let us pray the Our Father humbly asking that He truely help us to forgive and not hold anything against anyone no matter how reasonable it seems to do so. Thus we will know pardon and true peace.