Hebrews 4:1-5, 11
Psalm 78:3 and 4bc, 6c-7, 8
We see a person with paralysis and wish they could be healed. In the gospel of today, Christ first healed the man by forgiving his sins. Often when we think of forgiveness, we think of Christ forgiving us. What about our forgiving the offenses of others toward us?
When someone hurts us, we generally react in our human manner--anger, hurt feelings, perhaps desire for retribution, and eventually sadness. It is a loss for us. Often it is up to us to take the first step to free ourselves from these feelings by forgiving and loving the offender.
We have several examples in scripture where Christ forgave others, even including His own apostles. As an example, remember how Peter denied Christ three times and Christ still forgave him and chose him to lead the church.
The most outstanding example of forgiveness is that of Christ dying on the Cross to redeem us. As He was being executed, He asked, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:35)
What better example could we have?
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne