March 11th, Tuesday, First Week of Lent

Forgiveness From the Heart

“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

As we prepare for Easter, we purify our hearts through charity, prayer and fasting. Another common practice is communal reconciliation. In confession, we lay bare our sinful nature before God and ask forgiveness, unburdening our heart.

But as today’s gospel reading of the Lord’s Prayer reminds us, being forgiven requires that “we forgive those who trespass against us.” Jesus repeats this notion in verse 14-15 and later when Peter asks, “Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?” (Matthew 18:21-35) Reconciliation can mean nothing he says, unless you forgive others from your heart. And that means forgiving them as they are, sinful nature and all.

One definition of forgiveness is looking past the harm to see the other person as the child of God that they are. During Lent and always, I pray for a loving heart to forgive any child of God who might do me harm.

Read: Isaiah 55:10-11, Psalm 34:4-7, 16-19, Matthew 6:7-15

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