Tuesday, February 16, 2010

4 Promises that will be realized in Forgiveness

Ash Wednesday - the beginning of the Season of Lent is a period when all of us are called to examine our hearts.

Remember the Parable of the Wicked Servant? 
(Mathew 18:21 - 35) The servant owed his Master 10,000 talents. In those days, a servant would have to labour for 15 years to make 1,000 talents! Despite that, the Master forgave this huge amount of debt for this servant. However, this wicked servant did not show any mercy to a fellow servant who owed him a mere 100 dinari - equivalent to just a 100 days wages in those days. He had him put into prison and persecuted him. The other servants who saw this became upset and told everything to their Master. He was angry and sent the servant to the dungeons for the rest of his life. It was a big punishment for the wicked servant because he did not understand and he did not forgive. Jesus said, "That is how my Father in heaven will treat everyone of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." (Mathew 18:35) It is a powerful message that Jesus wants to give us - the message of forgiveness.

Our sin is against the infinite mercy of our God so our sins, according to Jesus, are debts that we owe to God. And God forgives - when we confess, all our sins are forgiven. But we, do we forgive, when others hurt us? If we do not forgive, the dark dungeons are a warning to us. In the bible, the dark dungeon is a symbol of hellfire. It is a big warning to every one of us.

That is why Jesus taught us to pray the "Our Father" in Luke Chapter 11, "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who does us wrong." (Luke 11:4) My dear sisters and brothers, the most important commandment we are given, in fact, the only commandment given to us with 4 promises, is to forgive.

    * "If you forgive others the wrong they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you." (Mathew 6:14)- If I forgive others, my sins will be forgiven

    * "And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive the wrongs you have done." (Mark 11:25) Our prayers will be answered when we forgive others.

    * "So if you are about to offer your gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God." (Mathew 5:23-24)

    * "So then confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed." (James 5:16)

When I forgive others, all those 4 promises will be realized, and will be fulfilled in me. Forgiveness is a seed that we are sowing. A seed is a little thing. Does any farmer regret having lost a seed? Does a farmer say, "I am losing all that seed?" No! A farmer is not sad because he is sowing. In fact, the time of sowing is a time of celebration - a time of rejoicing because when the farmer sows the seeds, there is a great vision in the mind o the farmer. What is that vision? Every seed that goes out of his hand is part of the harvest. Imagine one seed sprouting up into a green plant; maturing and bearing 100 grains - 1 seed bearing 100 grains? What will a 100 seeds become? It will become a beautiful harvest.

When you and I go to forgive, when we go to reconcile with our husbands, wives, colleagues, or friends - there is a little humiliation. But that little humiliation is the beginning of a rich harvest - the harvest of God's graces! My prayers are going to be answered, my sins are going to be forgiven, my life is going to be accepted and my ailments are going to be healed. Great heavenly blessings are coming to us.

In the book of Acts, St Stephen the first martyr of the Church, a deacon, died seeing a vision - a vision of glory. His heart was filled with great joy and so he did not feel the stones piercing his flesh. He was laughing and every one thought that he was mad. He was actually seeing a vision of the glory Jesus in heaven. He knew he was being invited to be with Jesus. He prayed the same prayer that Jesus did, "Forgive them, Father! They don't know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) St. Stephen did not feel the pain in his body.

Today, we must also be seeing visions. There are people who hurt us. Make the decision to go and get reconciled. You will be fulfilling the command of Jesus and you will receive great graces from God. Alleluia! Thank you, Jesus! Praise you, Jesus!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

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