Today’s homily is all about forgiveness. I thought of it for awhile and I said it’s so hard to forgive someone who made your life miserable, isn’t it? I’m only human; I can get angry and hate that someone, a natural instinct especially when I’ve been hurt badly. But God can forgive us that easy. Is it because God is not a human? Or God loves us that much that he doesn’t want to lose us? Matthew 18:21-25 is about the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant.
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
I thought I could never ever forgive the person who has done something so bad to me. I have tried but I couldn’t. I actually turned to God and asked him, why should I feel this way? Is it wrong to hate someone? Is it wrong to get angry at them cause of what they did? How can I forgive them dear God? I can’t find the nerve to forgive them ever. I hated them much.
Forgiveness is a choice. We must trust God to work on us so that forgiveness will flow easily within our hearts. Forgiveness involves time as well. Maybe we can’t forgive that person now, maybe in time we are ready to move on and let go of that anger and hatred inside our hearts. So true that forgiveness is a slow process.
When we learn to forgive someone we receive the award of freedom. Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian woman who survived a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, said, "Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you." We know much that we suffer most because we choose not to forgive and that we imprisoned ourselves to hatred, anger and bitterness. When we forgive we let go of those negative feelings.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NIV)