A rather big “If”

This excerpt from the Gospel for today’s Mass of Tuesday, the First Week of Lent has a rather troubling condition for people:

Matthew 6:14-15: “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

This is, of course, the last part of the “Lord’s Prayer.” And it bothers people when they read it and understand the implications.

They will not be forgiven by God of their sins unless they forgive others first.

No free ride. No “God understands”, as if His understanding means accepting and agreeing with it. No, if you do not forgive others for their sins against you, then God will not forgive you of your sins against Him.

This is really hard for those people who have been grievously injured by someone else. How can forgiveness be expected for someone who has seriously harmed another?

By ourselves alone, it may not be possible.

Matthew 19:26: “‘For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.’

In this season of Lent, let us use all the aids available to us from God through the Church in at least trying to be forgiving. It isn’t an easy process.

2 Peter 3:15: “And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation.

Bible quotes courtesy USCCB.

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