The Gospel for today is the story of the ungrateful debtor. The master, in his mercy, forgives the debtor a large debt only to learn that the debtor refused to forgive a smaller debt that was owed to him. He retracts his forgiveness and turns the debtor over to the torturers. The story concludes with Jesus saying,
“So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”
Surely one of the favorite prayers of most Catholics is the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father. As children we’re taught to say this prayer early and often. Jesus, Himself, when the disciples asked Him how to pray gave us this prayer. Some would say that since this is what Jesus taught that it’s the only prayer we need.
But, since we pray it so often, sometimes automatically, do we really mean what we pray. Think about it.
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Is that what we really want? Have you really forgiven everyone who’s ever sinned against you–unconditionally; the way you want to be forgiven? While we may be asking God to forgive us, we’re also asking Him to give us the grace to forgive.
Maybe this season of Lent is a good time to think about everyone who’s ever done you wrong; not to rekindle old grudges, but rather to forgive them in the same way we want God to forgive us.