Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today's first reading was about forgiveness:
Sirach 28: 2
Forgive your neighbor's injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.

The gospel was also about forgiveness:
Matthew 18: 21-23
Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive?
As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. 

We also pray about forgiveness every time we pray the Lord's prayer
"And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us."

My priest started off mass by remembering in a special way those who lost their lives 10 years ago and then he stated that by coincidence today's reading were to be about forgiveness.  This seems to me like a perfect theme for today's readings and for our lives today.

We know that we are supposed to forgive those who sin against us.  
We know this is what the Lord teaches us to do.

But what is forgiveness?  
I know a lot of things that forgiveness is not.  It does not mean that you have to forget about what they did.  It does not mean that you condone their action.  It does not mean that you have to reconcile with them or like them.

So what does it mean to forgive?

I know that when I have an argument with my husband I always for give him but I also try to forget about and move past the disagreement and we reconcile with each other.  In this sense I know what forgiveness is but I feel that that this more then just forgiveness.  This is not the kind of forgiveness that the Lord teaches us to give to all those who sin against us.
What about those who caused so many people so much pain and suffering 10 years ago?  I know I am supposed to forgive them but this does not mean that I have to forget about what they did.  This does not mean that I have to reconcile with them.  I can say that I forgive them but I'm not sure what that means.  

Does anyone have any suggestions about what it means to truly forgive your enemies?  

I will try to read more about this and write a follow up post so but I would also love to hear your ideas. 

Dear Lord,  I pray for those who lost their lives 10 years ago; the victims, the rescuers and the attackers and all their families and friend's who's lives will never be the same.