SATURDAY, 2ND WEEK OF LENT (11th March, 2023)
A theme which runs through both the first reading (cf. Micah 7:14-15, 18-20) and the gospel reading (cf. Luke 15:1-3, 11-32) is forgiveness. There is a very close relationship between love and forgiveness. Hence, St. Paul admonishes us that “love … keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5). That is, to love others is to be forgiving them. The relationship between love and forgiveness is like the one between a fruit and its seed. In other words, forgiveness is to love, what a seed is to its fruit.
Firstly, as the seed prolongs the existence of its fruit, so forgiveness makes love endure. So, without forgiveness, love diminishes and it may eventually die. Therefore, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends, let us forgive one another to sustain our love, knowing that it enriches us so much.
Secondly, a seed has to die, i.e., give itself up, in order to prolong the existence of the fruit. Similarly, forgiveness entails giving up certain things, e.g., the right to revenge, the hurt, etc. So, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends, let us give up the right to revenge, our hurts, etc.
Finally, when the seed dies, it yields fruitfulness. Similarly, when we forgive, our love flourishes. We do not only enjoy improved relationship with one another, we also enjoy God’s mercy: “Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:37-38). Therefore, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends, “be merciful, just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36).
By Msgr. John Kobina Louis