The WORD in Other Words By Fr Patricio de los Reyes SVD (Philippines)
Saturday Week 2 Lent
“Lahat ay may hangganan. ” (Nothing lasts forever.) “Ubos na ang pasensiya ko! ” (I‘ve run out of patience.) “Hind? ko siya mapapatawad. Bahala na siya sa buhay niya. ” (I can‘t forgive that person. He/she is on his/her own).
People who are deeply hurt may be heard saying these. The hurt can come from their loved ones‘ betrayal or not living up to their trust.
In the gospel story, the choice of the Father to forgive, in spite of what has happened and even if it has caused him heartache and anxiety, is a direct challenge to the above laments and words of resentment and frustration. It destroys the mentality that forgiveness is to be earned and difficult to give.
Forgiveness is a free gift of love, therefore, it should be easy to carry out. In spite of everything, I am free to choose love, kindness, compassion, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness; reject the opposite and not to be influenced by how others feel about my choice to forgive and love.
If my choice is that I become consistently and unconditionally compassionate and forgiving, I must also choose positive and empowering mentality. I must say: I forgive you because I love you.