Forgiveness and Love

By Father Adolfo Moronta

Two topics summarize todays Gospel: Forgiveness and love. Forgiveness is a two-way street, we ask for forgiveness but, we also need to be willing to forgive. The second topic in today’s Gospel is Love. We are a result of God’s love. Among our primary missions in earth is to love and be loved. 1 Corinthians 13: 5-7 explains this quite well: “love is not selfish; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up…”

Good morning brothers and Sisters in Christ

May the Love and peace of God be with all of you on this day

When we make our entrance into this world we come from the warmth of our mother’s womb into this cold place called earth. As a baby, we cannot do anything by ourselves so we need to be fed, protected, loved, and cared for. We come into contact with the world through our sense of taste and touch. We are innocent, but we soon begin to take our first lessons in the world that each us about love, feelings, and the difference between right and wrong. It is in this learning process that our character and personality begin to take shape influenced highly by our context, family, friends and our surroundings. We don’t bring any baggage when we arrive, but sooner or later we find ourselves carrying all types of luggage: sadness, resentment, hate, shame, sin, and the list can go on and on.

In today’s Gospel there is a woman who throughout her journey in life seems like she lost her path somewhere and brought herself into the hands of darkness. This woman was carrying too much luggage, a heavy weight that was reflected in her tears. Clearly she had hit rock bottom.

The setting in the Gospel begins showing Jesus going to the house of Simon, a Pharisee, for a meal. Then a woman identified as a sinner enters the room, washes his feet with her tears, wipes his feet with her hair, kisses his feet with her lips, and anoints his feet with ointment. The story ends with Jesus telling the woman that her faith has saved her. Jesus says “Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven.” Forgiveness seems to flow from her actions. It seems that this woman knows of Jesus’ reputation and has likely even experienced his ministry.

Yes, we all sin. Some of us sin more than others. We like to compare ourselves, but it is not about the sin, however big or small. It is about God’s grace, which comes from trying to know Jesus and living a life with him at the center. Very often we are tempted to just see and judge what others are doing wrong instead of seeing our own faults and wrong actions. Keep in mind that it is with the grace of God that we are able to walk away of our sinful ways.

There are 2 main topics in this reading, forgiveness and Love.

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a person undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, and let’s go of negative emotions. There are two types of forgiveness. The First Kind of Forgiveness is the one given by Jesus who shed His blood on the cross as our substitute to pay for our sins. When we believe in Him—when we trust Him for the forgiveness He offers by grace through faith—then we can know that our sins are forgiven (John 5:24). The second kind of forgiveness has been described very well by Jesus himself: If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. —Matthew 6:15

This woman was crying for help. She couldn’t take it anymore. In return Jesus says, “your sins are forgiven…go in peace” He is offering her more than forgiveness since he is lifting the burden she was carrying and in return gives her value and worth in spite of how unworthy she feels.

Forgiveness is a two-way street, we ask for forgiveness but, we also need to be willing to forgive. We need to let go of the situations that have marked or hurt us. When you choose not to forgive you are the one who is carrying the burden, the hurt, the sadness. On the other hand, the other person is just living his or her own life and is not carrying the weight you have put on yourself.

Forgiving does not mean that what the person did to you was ok that it didn’t matter, that it didn’t hurt. We should see forgiving as a way of giving us a chance an opportunity to let go of pain, grieve, hate, resentment, and a way to be free. How do we know that we have forgiven? Easily, when we remember what happened and we don’t feel pain.

The second topic in today’s Gospel is Love. We are a result of God’s love. Among our primary missions in earth is to love and be loved. Therefore, it’s just very natural to seek love in others. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says: 13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. Additionally, verses 4-8 also specify: “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not selfish; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up…

The kind of love that Jesus is showing to the woman in the Gospel is an unconditional love. The same loves he feels for you and me. He is not giving up on her or certainly not giving up on us either. Instead every day he continues to pour his love upon all of us here on earth. But, we instead of letting his love touch us we open up our umbrellas and we don’t allow him to transform us with by the power of his love.

Today Jesus is setting an invitation to all, forgive, let it go! Give yourself a chance to find peace. You cannot change the past but you certainly can change the quality of life you could live in the present and in the future. Today open your life and your heart to receive Gods love and forgiveness which can heal your life. God’s love will keep you strong and it is this kind of love that is able to sustain and encourage you each day. Give yourself the chance to begin today the path of love & forgiveness.