When we forgive, we are also asked to forget. Forgiveness without forgetting is a meaningless exercise. Yet, while many easily forgive, only a few forget the wrong that have been done to them.

Forgiveness is central to Christian life. We become more human and God-like when we forgive more. The Lord teaches us three main points about forgiveness. First, it is necessary to forgive. We are not given the choice to forgive or not to forgive. We must always forgive because God is forgiveness and His children need to learn to forgive.

Second, forgiveness must be endless. The Old Testament says man can forgive three times. Peter wanted to impress the Lord and said he would forgive seven times. But the Lord told him he was still short because forgiveness should not be limited. We should never grow tired of doing good, as in forgiving.

Third, forgiveness should be complete and total. When we forgive, we should not discuss the wrong anymore. When we forgive, we begin anew without resurrecting old pains. We forgive totally and completely. But forgiveness is not unconditional. The Lord sets certain conditions before forgiveness can be given. First, we must ask for it. How can you be forgiven, if you do not ask for it? If you do not recognize the priest’s power to forgive, how can he absolve you? Second, we should be ready to forgive others. Third, we must be ready and willing to love.

When Peter denied the Lord, the Lord did not ask him if he was sorry. Instead, He said, “Peter, do you love me?” A
loving heart is a precondition to forgiveness. Those who do not love cannot be forgiven. Those who do not love cannot forgive.

Jn 21 15-19
Jesus In My Heart

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