God is always merciful, and there is no sin that He cannot forgive. Sin distances us from God, but God does not abandon us because of our sins, he invites us to make amends, not because he owes us forgiveness, but because he does not want to lose us.
This invitation is real and permanent. He says, ‘Come now, let us talk this over, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” This is an invitation with assurance, and God never fails in His promise. He invites us to a reconciliation dialogue, even though He is the one wronged. Through this, He shows us that even though He is wounded by our sins, He still loves us and we do not lose value because of it.
It is an act of humility to reach out to the one who has wronged you. More often than not, we feel so bad that we are offended and find it difficult to call for reconciliation. We often feel very proud to invite the offender, even if he or she is embarrassed or arrogant, to show remorse. Whenever we are offended, the burden of forgiveness is on us.
Forgiveness is a debt we owe to the sinner, for if we do not forgive the brother who has wronged us, how can we expect God to forgive our own sins. Our virtue will be greater than that of the Pharisees if we can show humility and mercy when we are offended.
Our sincere commitment to faith is shown not by being arrogant in virtue, but by recognizing that forgiveness saves both the sinner and the offended. If God can invite us to reconciliation, why shouldn’t we call that brother or sister to talk things over.
This Lenten season gives us another chance, so let’s get off our high horses and reach out to that brother or sister who deserves our forgiveness. This could be the beginning of their repentance.
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