I Say to You, Not Seven Times but Seventy-Seven Times.

When Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive seven times he was being generous as that was more than double what was expected at the time.
Jesus responded, “…not just seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Forgiving those who trespass against us doesn’t mean to avoid them or merely tolerate them; it goes further, which is the reason Jesus takes us beyond and tells us, "Love your enemy." Forgiving is the way that we truly love and is the way to be genuine disciples of the message of the Gospel of Jesus.
Three years ago I witnessed on TV a great example of a genuine pardon when Pope Francis visited Colombia, and Pastora, a woman who lost her father, husband and two children after they were tortured and killed, told how she was able to take care of one of her son's killers when he was wounded, and then was further inspired by her Christian commitment to forgive him. Renouncing any contrary feeling to Christian love, she was able to embrace him and at the same time free herself of the burning pain consuming her soul. The embracement of love and forgiveness makes her truly free from hatred, sorrow, and pain. She exhorted the entire country to live the freeing experience of love and forgiveness and in this way stop the violence and war.
After this great example of true forgiveness, how can I excuse myself from
offering forgiveness to those who hurt me?
Forgiveness is a gift from God, not only that we are forgiven, but that we can be the source of forgiveness. Those who are able to forgive find freedom and healing and real peace.
Don’t keep the hurt in your heart; it is time to let it go, and the only way to do that is to forgive and embrace Jesus' words, “… not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
May the Lord bless you and strengthen you to forgive which will heal you and help you to find peace. May the Mother of Mercy lead you to offer mercy to others.

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