Forgiveness from the Heart
I will think of someone who has offended me and say a prayer
by Catholic.net | Source: Catholic.net
Lord Jesus, as I prepare for the coming of
Easter during this Lenten season, I turn to you in prayer. You have been merciful to me. Many times
you have pardoned the great debt I owe. I trust in your merciful love and wish to transmit your love
to many others faithfully. Here I am, Lord, ready to learn from your tender
Lord, enlighten me to your gift of mercy.
An Unpayable Debt:
Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother. Jesus
gives a short answer, telling a parable to make sure his answer is understood. In the parable God is
the king, and we are all the servants who owe the king a huge amount. We are all in debt to God. He
created us and keeps us in existence and gives us every good thing we have, every talent and virtue.
We owe God everything. He owes us nothing. Do my daily thoughts and actions reflect this
2. The Forgiving King:
The servant, not being able to pay, falls to his
knees and begs for more time so that he can pay back the debt. The king offers him more than just
time – he pardons the entire debt. God is generous. When we turn to him and ask for forgiveness, he
offers us much more than we could hope for – he pardons our entire debt. Then why, we might ask,
does the king settle accounts with his servant if he is so generous? Why not pardon the debt from
the beginning instead of ordering him along with his wife and children to be sold? He calls the
servant to account so that the servant will realize how much he owes and in realizing this, he might
imitate God when dealing with his fellow-worker. God does not want us to be punished for our sins.
He desires to forgive us the great debt we owe him, but he calls us to account for our sins in the
hope that we will recognize how much we have both received from him and owe to him and thus will ask
3. Unequal Treatment and Abuse of Freedom:
After being pardoned,
the servant does not treat his debtor in the same merciful manner. He sends him to prison. He had
every right to do so. In justice, his fellow servant owed him money; but in doing so he abuses the
liberty that he has just been given. He does not stop to reflect that in this moment he himself
should rightly be in slavery, sold along with his wife and children in order to pay his debt. He
does not reflect that he is able to confront his fellow servant only because the king has had pity
on him in the first place, giving him liberty. The offenses we suffer from our fellow men are real
offenses, but before we demand justice we must stop and reflect that it is only because God has
forgiven us our sins that we have the liberty to demand reparation from our fellow men. That
reflection must lead us to have the same mercy with our fellow men that God has had with
Conversation with Christ:
Lord thank you for this time of prayer. I must
recognize that you
have been merciful with me and forgiven me the great debt I owe.
you for the many times you have given me a second chance.
During this time of Lent, help me to
practice mercy toward
those who owe or offend me.
think of someone who has offended me and say a prayer asking God to help me forgive
Join the new media evangelization. Your tax-deductible gift allows Catholic.net to build a culture of life in our nation and throughout the world. Please help us promote the Church's new evangelization by donating to Catholic.net right now. God bless you for your generosity.