... in forgiveness

Published on 20 Sep 2017
A row of people at Mass

I went to church on Sunday morning in a not-particularly-spiritual frame of mind. I had only vaguely prepared for the Mass, in the sense that I had looked at the readings previously, but as Mass began I couldn't remember what they were. 

After the first reading however, I suddenly remembered, and as I was listening to the psalm, I remembered that the  Gospel was about the king and his servant, (Matthew 18: 21–35) and was about forgiveness. I had always found this reading difficult because it revealed a sort of punishing side to God that is quite hard to think about. The king hands him over to torturers! But suddenly I saw the reading in a diffferent way. God forgives us so much, knowing our every thought, sin and darkest secrets, and still forgives. This huge sense of being forgiven is what should help us to pass on that forgiveness to others. But having had this thought, and with it a great sense of being loved, the gospel was read and then the priest gave a homily which said exactly what I had just been thinking (only in better words...) This confirmed for me the Spirit guiding me to this feeling of love and forgiveness and the desire to pass that on to other people. 

Often these experiences can't really be conveyed very well to others, and in any case, my understanding of the gospel passage was not, of course, due to any advanced knowledge – very possibly everyone who has ever read it before apart from me already understood it  –  but I was very glad to find that meaning and the feeling of peace it brought. And a challenge, yes, to forgive others.