Homily for Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Lent
Theme: SEVENTY – TIMES – SEVEN FORGIVENESS!
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Tuesday March 22 2022
*Dan 3 : 2 – 20, Matt 18 :21 – 35.
Here again, many of us often falter! Simon Peter (the natural man in his journey to becoming a spiritual man) speaks for all of us: ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?’…’ 7 times? ‘. Peter was even quite generous. Igbos will never allow more than 3 times (Ihe ruo na nke ito oto). But God’s ways are not our ways. God wants 70 ×7 forgiveness – an unalloyed invitation for limitless forgiveness. But many will prefer to worship the ‘Old Testament god’ – the god that punishes sinners with prompt brutality. I bet you, that ‘god image’ is now a modern day Idol and many Christians worship it when they pray against their enemies with such clichés like: ‘Die, die, by fire, by fire!’.
That parable of the Wicked Servant is apt for our daily reflection in this lenten season. The wicked servant qualifies as ‘wicked’ simply because he could not reciprocate the mercy of his master. Love is reciprocal and forgiveness is a major aspect of love. When we cannot reciprocate the mercy of God by showing the same mercy on our neighbour, God simply treats us as ‘wicked’ and the Bible says: ‘There is no rest for a wicked man’, Ps 37:30.
Do you know exactly what you look like when you refuse to forgive someone who offends you? You are like a person woken up from sleep at midnight by a rat. Full of anger and in a bid to kill the rat, you brought fuel and set your house on fire. Mhhh! If you don’t want to fit into this analogy, then you better forgive every body that has offended you before it is too late.
Why we must forgive: I present 3 reasons: 1. To imitate God as our heavenly father; People say that ‘To err is human and to forgive is divine’. Therefore, children of God must partake in this act of divinity. The Bible says : ‘You are gods, all of you – sons of the most high God’, Ps 82 : 2.
2. It is a sign of strength; We forgive not because we are weak but because we are stronger. We have overgrown our emotions of pride, anger, jealousy and bitterness.
3. It is a liberation; According to John Mason : ‘To forgive is to set a prisoner free only to discover the prisoner was you’. May God bless you today!