- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

March 6, 2018

Fr. Gerard D’Souza, OCSO [1]

3rd Tuesday of Ordinary Time

So will my heavenly Father do to you unless each of you forgives your brother from the heart.

This command to forgive can only be understood against the horizon of a greater forgiveness. This is why the parable first has the King not just giving his servant time to pay the huge debt but actually wiping the loan off his books.

In order to really forgive from the heart, each of us must experience what it is to a congenital sinner. As long as we never return to ourselves or project the evil that resides within us on to others, we remain ignorant of our true condition.

We will never really get in touch with this unless we withdraw our projections and get in touch with our radical ingratitude in the face of a God who gives freely, who never manipulates, who is exquisitely courteous in the face of our selfishness, who remains ever vulnerable, who is struck and never strikes back, whom we spit upon.

This radical ingratitude, because it is fed by the secret springs of pride, can remain hidden from us because like an addiction it is cunning and powerful and even diabolical. It is only when we see it enfleshed and embodied that we are struck with compunction. When radical ingratitude meets radical love in the flesh then we see sin for what it really is. And this poison within us shows itself most clearly only in Christ on the cross – jeered at, scorned by everyone, spat upon, struck, crucified and murdered.

When we confront sin of this magnitude written into our DNA, the heart is broken and can be open to forgiveness.