Forgive from the heart

Matthew 18:21-35
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.”

Homily:

The instruction is not easy to follow and the consequences of disobeying it seem remote. But we must take this seriously.

This instruction appears in various books in the bible, from the old to the new testament. From prophets before Jesus Christ, from Jesus Christ and from prophets after Jesus Christ.

This instruction is one of the most consistent and repeated.

This conditional statement of our forgiveness being hinged on the measure of our forgiving the transgressions of our neighbor was included in “The Lord’s Prayer” –

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” – Matthew 6:12

It is further elucidated in the below passage –

“The Lord is taking note of your sins, and if you take vengeance on someone, the Lord will take vengeance on you. But if you forgive someone who has wronged you, your sins will be forgiven when you pray. You cannot expect the Lord to pardon you while you are holding a grudge against someone else. You yourself are a sinner, and if you won’t forgive another person, you have no right to pray that the Lord will forgive your sins. If you cannot get rid of your anger, you have no hope of forgiveness—you are only a human being. Think about it! Some day you will die, and your body will decay. So give up hate and live by the Lord’s commands, the commands in the covenant of the Most High. Instead of getting upset over your neighbor’s faults, overlook them.” – Sirach 28:1-7

Dear Lord, please give me the grace to always quickly forgive my neighbor from my heart.