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Friday, August 12, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

August 11, 2011

Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” – Matthew 18:21-22

“In a bare, white-walled cell in Rome’s Rebibbia prison, John Paul tenderly held the hand that had held the gun that was meant to kill him. For 21 minutes, the Pope sat with his would-be assassin....” This was Time magazine’s moving account of John Paul II’s momentous prison visit in 1983.
As I looked at the picture of Pope John Paul II embracing his gunman, with only tenderness and inner peace emanating from his face, I was teary-eyed. I realized that what I was looking at was no longer just a picture but the message of forgiveness come to life. Can a rape victim face her attacker and forgive him? Can a man forgive the drunk driver who killed his wife and child? Can a holocaust survivor forgive the prison guard who tortured her? By God’s grace, they did — they all forgave the ones who brought them the most pain. By that very same grace, we can forgive anyone anything.
Forgiveness may be difficult but not impossible to do. Just look at our beloved Pope John Paul II lovingly enfolding Agca in an embrace of forgiveness. Look to Jesus who forgave sinners as He hung on the cross. Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)

Is there a sin more terrible than Christ’s death on the cross that God will never forgive?

Father, give us an abundance of Your grace to forgive all those who have done us wrong

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