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Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. — Psalm 31:6
Mass Readings: Acts 6:8-10;7:54-59 / Matthew 10:17-22
I’ve always found forgiveness to be really difficult. I suppose most people do. And I find it even harder when the people to whom I’m trying to extend forgiveness give not the slightest sign they’re sorry for what they’ve done to me. I want to believe that, so long as they’re impenitent, I don’t have to forgive them. But the truth is Jesus says, “When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions” (Mk 11:25).
St. Stephen understood this, which is why — just as Jesus did (cf. Lk 23:34) — he forgave his killers even when they showed no sign of repentance. Because of this, nothing kept his soul from going straight to heaven.
Prayer: St. Stephen, pray for us that we hasten to forgive as you did.
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