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Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. — Psalm 24 (see 6)
Mass Readings: Titus 1:1-9/Luke 17:1-6
In today’s Gospel, Jesus shares a tough message about forgiveness. Rabbis traditionally taught that anyone who forgave someone three times was “perfect.” But Jesus says we must forgive as many as seven times — and, in Mathew’s Gospel, “seventy times seven.” The disciples knew that seven had symbolic importance. In Judaism, seven was associated with God, holiness and completion. Jesus was raising the bar much higher. He said that we shouldn’t even count the times we forgive. This challenge was so new, His disciples were stunned.
Today, we also recognize the therapeutic benefits of forgiveness — especially for those who forgive. Medical studies find that refusing to forgive is linked with mental and physical illnesses. A Chinese proverb observes: “He who won’t forgive must dig two graves — one for his enemy and one for himself.”
Prayer: Jesus, help me stop counting how many times I forgive; You never keep count.
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