Readings: Ezekiel 33:7-9; Romans 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Matthew 18:15-20
Reflection Question: Consider the people in your life whom you may need to forgive and pray for God’s grace to do so - gathering with two or more people if possible.
This week on FORMED.org, Johnette Benkovic discusses the importance of forgiveness both in our spiritual life and the spiritual life of those who sin against us. Forgiveness is a difficult thing for everyone. To a certain extent, the feeling of being hurt can place us into a sort of comfort. We know that we were wronged, and we do not feel like even approaching the idea of forgiveness. Oftentimes bringing up these past and unfortunate memories can evoke too much hurt or negative feelings. However, Jesus requires as part of our faith that we forgive others - the Lord’s Prayer says: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Our act of forgiveness both frees us from the burden and emotion resulting from the sin, and also frees the person who has sinned against us from that same burden. Sometimes we do not want to think of those who have sinned us as free from the burden of the sin that they have committed; but it is necessary in our spiritual healing process for us to let go of the spiritual burden of sin. Sharing our pain and praying with others can help us move towards forgiveness when it is difficult.