August 11, Thursday, Saint Clare, Virgin
Ezekiel 12: 1-12 and Matthew 18:21–19:1
When you start counting your forgiving, remember how many times you were forgiven.
If we remember the works of the Lord, we will see how loving and merciful our God is. This is what Ezekiel (12:1-12) in the first reading is trying to remind us today. Amidst the wickedness and having rebellious hearts, God did not stop reminding and offering the people of Israel His forgiveness.
Through the prophet Ezekiel, God called Israel to repent and renew their lives that they may be saved from being captives and being exiled. But Israel refused to hear and see the works of the Lord forgetting how loving and merciful God is. So, they were exiled and suffered for many years.
But the story does not end there. We heard Jesus in today’s gospel, demonstrating to Peter and his disciples the real meaning of forgiveness. Forgiveness is God’s identity. As God is eternal then forgiveness is eternal too. That is why when we forgive we become God’s face to the other. To possess and nurture a forgiving heart is to fortify God’s image in us. The more we forgive, the more we become like God.
In our digital world, it seems that forgiveness is so alien. We easily bash, criticize and attack people. We simply hide behind fake identities then attack people we don’t like. This is clearly demonic that is why social media has become so toxic and depressing.
As followers of Christ, there’s an urgent call for us to be that light that would dispel the darkness of hatred and unforgiveness today. Our God is a God of unlimited mercy and forgiveness, and so is our church too. It’s just quite sad, when we who belong to this church are the first ones to set aside and forget forgiveness because we want to advance our own human principles and interests. If this happens, then we the missionaries become judges instead of being evangelizers.
My dear friends, forgiveness is countless. When you start counting how many your forgiving, remember how many times you were forgiven. Amen.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.