“You have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago, Don’t commit murder, and all who commit murder will be in danger of judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go. First make things right with your brother or sister and then come back and offer your gift. Be sure to make friends quickly with your opponents while you are with them on the way to court. Otherwise, they will haul you before the judge, the judge will turn you over to the officer of the court, and you will be thrown into prison. I say to you in all seriousness that you won’t get out of there until you’ve paid the very last penny.”
Food For Thought:
“Community is not possible without the willingness to forgive one another…Forgiveness is the cement of community life. Forgiveness holds us together through good times and bad times, and it allows us to grow in mutual love…To forgive another person from the heart is an act of liberation. We set that person free from the negative bonds that exist between us. We say, ‘I no longer hold your offense against you.’ But there is more. We also free ourselves from the burden of being the ‘offended one.’ As long as we do not forgive those who have wounded us, we carry them with us or, worse, pull them as a heavy load. The great temptation is to cling in anger to our enemies and then define ourselves by being offended and wounded by them. Forgiveness, therefore, liberates not only the other but also ourselves. IT is the way to the freedom of the children of God.” – From Bread for the Journey by Henri J.M. Nouwen
God, help me forgive. I have all these hurts stored up, and I want to let them go. I need to set free those who have hurt me. I need to release them from my anger. And God, I want to free myself. I want to release myself from the burden of hurt. Lord, help me forgive. Amen.