Lenten Prayer Reflection by Julie Scuderi

Mar 01 2016

Matthew 18:21-35
Today’s Gospel from Matthew is all about forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things that Jesus asks us to do for one another. Although he gave us the ultimate example of how to forgive, it is still a real challenge for so many of us to do it, especially when the person who has wronged us isn’t even sorry. Every Sunday when we gather at Mass, we recite the words of the Our Father: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The second half of that sentence seems to be forgotten by all of us all too often. I think that the reason we struggle so tremendously to forgive is that we don’t truly understand what forgiveness is. In actuality, forgiveness is freedom. When we hold onto resentment and hopes of revenge, the only ones that we are hurting are ourselves. Bitterness grows, and as forgiveness becomes more and more impossible for us to imagine ourselves capable of, it also becomes harder for us to believe that God is capable of it. When Jesus tells Peter to forgive seventy-seven times, he is asking each and every one of his disciples to forgive infinitely and without hesitation, just as He does for us. Pray for God’s help as you strive to let go of hate and hold onto righteousness this Lent and always.