Remember to Forgive

(from the 2010 Magnificat Lenten Companion)

Freshly forgiven an unimaginable debt and eluding a grim descent into slavery, why wouldn't the previously owned man cry out with joy at receiving his family back and the opportunity to begin saving money? Or was that the problem? Did he throw his fellow servant in prison because here was an easy way to begin amassing a fortune? Or perhaps he couldn't accept a complimentary gift, and wanted to pay back the king anyway. Maybe the explanation is simpler yet: he forgot he was forgiven and given more than he bargained for. This is what "forgiveness" means: to "over-give", to give too much, to surprise by giving someone a chance to start over. To gorgive is to give a future. It's said that God offers us unconditional forgiveness, but Jesus makes clear the proviso that we go our and do likewise. But note: it's not that the Father forgives us only on condition that we first forgive. No, he goes first; we forgive "second". God does offer unconditional forgiveness, but with the possibility of refund if we abuse it, or more exactly, never really accept it in the first place. For the divine forgiveness is what makes our human forgiveness possible. Having come in crying , we can go out singing, caring less about others' debts and caring more that they too have forgiveness coming.

Reflection based on Matthew 18:21-35
Father Lawrence Donohoo, OP

Heavenly Father, forgive me for forgetting your forgiveness
and for failing to send it heartily into the lives of my brothers
and sisters in debt to both of us.

Today's suggested penance: Point out to another his or her virtue.