June 14, 2024
Reflections By Rev. Fr. David Okolie

MUST I FORGIVE?

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Dearest friends, it is quite obvious that Jesus’ teaching on *FORGIVENESS* does not seem to appeal to many Christians, both Pastors and their members.

In fact, since I made the post on forgiveness yesterday (September 17, 2023) which I entitled: *โ€˜Hatred among Christians’*, a number of persons have sent in their comments and questions. But permit me to share this very one with you, dearest friends; of course, with the permission of the person that sent it to me. Let me quote him verbatim:

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ *โ€œFr, how can I just pray for those who killed my father, my mother and even my 3 family members. Fr am sorry to say this but I was disturbed after reading your comments on today’s readings. Thanks Fr.”*

Now, this person is certainly not alone in such difficulty. There are a number of Christians who think that it is just impossible to forgive the very person that has offended them. Some have even made that unfortunate statement thus: *โ€˜Over my DEAD BODY would I forgive him/her.’* The above statement is simply *UNCHRISTIAN๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ*

The truth remains that, as Christians, we have no other option than to *FORGIVE๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ* Without forgiveness, we can be sure that we are certainly *NOT CHRISTIANS.*

I have kept on thinking about the following and I want you to join me:

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ1. What could have made Jesus to to say this at the point of his death on the Cross: *โ€œFather, FORGIVE them, for they do not know what they are doing?* (cf. Lk 23:34).

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ2. What could have made Jesus *NOT* to approve of the Apostles’ (James and John) demand to call down thunder (fire) to destroy those who opposed them? (cf. Lk 9:51-56).

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ3. What could have made St. Stephen to *FORGIVE* those who were stoning him to death? (cf. Acts 7:54-60).

Indeed, you and I must always pray for the *GRACE* to always *FORGIVE* offences; for without FORGIVENESS, we would certainly not make any headway in our heavenly race.

Remain blessed๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

contributor
Rev. Fr. David Okolie is a Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Okigwe, Imo State, Nigeria. He is a prolific writer, retreat preacher and social media evangelizer.

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