Let Go of Grudges
How often do you show forgiveness towards your neighbour? It's so easy to get in a mood (believe me, I've had those days) where you feel like everyone is betting against you, and you want to make the lives of everyone around you miserable as well. Life can be hard, and we try to ease our distress and stress by taking it out on those around us, especially when it means giving forgiveness, or holding a grudge. Have you ever held a grudge against someone? You knew you needed to let it go, that it was revealing your childish instincts, yet you hold on to that grudge like nothing could be of more importance. God tells us that the best way to act out in these times of hurt and distress is to love, to take a breath and show forgiveness, even when it can hurt. Who is someone in your life that you're holding a grudge against?
Today's Gospel states:'Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. "Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, `Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan' (Matthew 18:21--19:1).
Today's Gospel is one of my favourites. Jesus tells Peter that you must forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven. Yes, for those of you like me what are comedians, you're adding up the total number of times. However, Jesus said this, to show that there is a limitless amount of times that you need to show forgiveness, unending, as God's love, compassion and mercy are for us. We all have sins, we all have baggage, but through Jesus' sacrifice for us on the cross, we are given a second chance at redemption. We need to replicate this same love to others who are in desperate need of compassion, some love where they may not have any, and forgiveness. Take some time to ask God to help you let go of grudges.
Today's prayer comes from 'Catholic answers' a prayer to let go of grudges:
Lord, send abundant graces to those whom need to be reconciled with others, and to harbor no bitterness. Lead them to the virtues of prudence and humility. Send angels to help with this cause, leading all involved in such matters to heaven, now and forever, through the intercession of Our Lady. Amen.