Third Tuesday of Lent

March 6, 2018 / By: Margaret Stockman

Dn 3:25, 34-43/Mt 18:21-35

Mercy and forgiveness. “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times." I remember getting my ‘feelings hurt’ in middle school and my mom saying to me "don't give up on them, you have to forgive them seventy-seven times." I never liked hearing that because it felt like I just needed to suck up my pain and pretend like it wasn't there. Only recently has this line become something I desire to live more truly.

The older I get, the more I realize how limited of a person I am, I get angry, anxious, annoyed, closed, you name it. But also the older I get, the more I realize that my heart cries out for Beauty, Truth, and Love. I cannot deny that I am made for something Infinite. These two things don't seem to be necessarily connected, but I think they are. Because it is when I am aware that my heart cries out for Truth, Love and Beauty, no matter how many limits and sins I have, then I can begin to look at others knowing that they have the same heart as me­–and that is when I can truly forgive. Not a forgiveness that is moralistic, biting my tongue, but forgiveness because I am aware that the other is the same thing as me!

Even when I realize my faults it does not work against me because it allows me to see the great mercy that Jesus has for me. Even when I am the most undeserving of love and mercy, He shows me the face of a friend that is precisely that ΜΆ love and mercy in the flesh staring me in the eyes. The verse that used to drive me crazy has become something I have experienced. It is because of experiencing others having this mercy on me that I desire to forgive others. “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” May we never give up on each other, because in the end, each heart is yearning for the same answer, for the same love, and for the same Truth.

Margaret Stockman