You have to love a Gospel where the message is so clear you really don’t need anyone to explain it to us. The Gospel we hear today is one of those Gospels. It is so clear that Jesus is calling us to forgive others and if we do not forgive there will be consequences. Our own graces of forgiveness are tied completely to our own ability to forgive. Our culture, our experiences, and our own human nature immediately contradicts our own feelings on Jesus’ teaching of forgiveness. We feel that it might be unfair because there may be people in our lives who we feel do not deserve forgiveness. “Why would I ever forgive them for what they did?” “I am a good person, but what they did is unforgivable.” These thoughts we may have may seem fair and reasonable but these thoughts are not how Jesus thinks.
Remember why Jesus came to us. He came to us to repair our relationship with His Father. His Father so loved the world He sent His Son to forgive us our sins. It is a total act of love for the forgiveness of sin. All sin. Jesus gave us the commandment to “love one another as I have loved you.” If we do not have the ability to forgive then we are not loving one another as Jesus has asked us to. Jesus gave all of Himself in the loving act of forgiving our sins. He gave His own sacred life. There was no fairness in His sacrifice. There was no guarantee we would return His love. He did it anyway. He paid for the forgiveness of us by taking on the consequences of our sins so that we would not have to.
By forgiving, we also take on the consequences of the sin against us. This is difficult to do because there is no guarantee if we forgive someone who has wronged us that the forgiveness given will be returned. There is also no guarantee that a relationship will be repaired if forgiveness is given, but by giving forgiveness we open ourselves to love. We open ourselves to love as God loves. We can stop being tortured by the injustices we might have experienced for God loves us just as much as he loves the person who may have wronged us. By giving forgiveness, we love again someone who Jesus has never stopped loving.