The mercy we show takes many forms: we encourage, we support, we carry each other. But, at the core of showing mercy is the ability to forgive. Jesus tells us in the Gospel today, we must forgive as God forgives us. So, forgiveness comes from the heart, but only if we join our heart to God.
If there is no forgiveness in our relationships, or if there is no forgiveness among family members, then sufferings continue to get worse until walls are created that separate us from each other. But, although forgiveness is not always easy, it is one of the most unselfish acts of love we can show for someone. Forgiveness is one of the greatest acts of freedom we experience – the freedom to love even the one who has done you wrong. If day after day we forgive, relationships can be restored and love can be reborn.
Sometimes our human strength is not enough to forgive. Our emotions block us from doing so. When it’s hard to forgive, we must ask God for the grace to do so. Sometimes it takes a while until we can be open enough to receive God’s grace. This is normal. When we have been deeply wounded, receiving God’s grace can take time and a lot of prayer, patience, and humility. Jesus showed prayer, patience, and humility on the cross forgiving His enemies when He turned to His Father and said, “Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.” To forgive, then, is to go through our heart to the Father, because God is the source of forgiveness.
So, when it’s hard to forgive, I can do the same. For the heart of God, who forgives me, is where I need to go when looking to forgive. May you have a blessed week forgiving from the heart.
Adapted from the Meditation of the Day – Magnificat, September 13, 2020.