Go back to the gospels

XXIV Sunday in Ordinary Time

The freedom of forgiveness

Leave a comment below

Dear brothers and sisters, Fiat!

It is strange how the world is based on numbers: we make statistics, market research, surveys, budgets, forecasts, estimates. The numbers are compared, percentualized, they offer a comparable image of reality.  However, the numbers may represent real images but they are poor in pathos statistics lack life and heart.

What do the seven times of Peter mean? Perhaps the overcoming of the rabbinical indication of four times, perhaps the image of totality that in the Semitic mentality was recalled by the number seven, but it is nothing if compared to seventy times seven of Jesus. Jesus projects Peter into the paradox of a measure without measure, He brings to excess the image of totality. Jesus is not interested in numbers capable only of producing balances, of balancing the accounts. Forgiveness does not equalize, it does not close the accounts, it does not restore the broken balances, rather it opens windows, opens doors, opens relationships, produces dynamics in human relationships.

" If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times." (Gen 4:24). Men see in revenge a way to regulate relationships and restore justice, but revenge always goes further, the saying of Lamec, descendant of Cain, is very clear. Today we use the English term "escalation" to say that there is never an end to things and revenge turns into feud. In ancient laws and in the Bible itself, a limit has been set to revenge: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth (Lev 24,19-20).

The number seven is strongly symbolic in the relationships between people and things, between man and God. The number seven says freedom: of man every seven days; of the camp every seven years; of slavery every jubilee, seven times seven years (Lv 25:8). The greater is the freedom of forgiveness! Forgiveness does not free so much those who receive it as those who offer it.

Forgiveness does not erase memory, it does not deny justice, but it makes us stronger than fear and violence.

The parable gives us the image of freedom that comes from forgiveness and the slavery of the one who would be called to forgive. The chronicle of these years has offered us rare examples of mothers of murderers who have reconciled themselves with those of the victims, and has shown us the good and the peace that comes from it.

The Gospel has a different logic than human justice and the logic of separation or disinterest - let's put an end to it - as if nothing had happened. Forgiveness is not a juridical fact that produces its effects and closes the accounts, rather it brings in a new dynamic in the relationships between people to build a totally new future.

It is the same dynamic as God's: " But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you" (Ps 130:4). Forgiveness belongs to God alone, it is an excess of His love. But why does God love us so immensely? Simply because He wants us to possess His gifts, to make us sharers in his very life which is pure love.

This is what Jesus explains to Luisa on September 12, 1937.  Luisa sees herself as small and full of responsibility for her mission and in the face of the immensity of God, but Jesus comforts her by saying that her littleness remains dissolved inside the Divine Will. She is not the one who has to manifest its truths, but the Divine Will Itself will take the task of narrating all that It wants to make them known. It will invest Luisa’s mind; It will make Itself small on her lips, and It will make Itself known for Who It really is. Luisa surely cannot do it by herself, but if she place her will into God He will fix everything, and He will make known all that He wants to say.

When God wants to do good to the creatures, or to reveal a truth - which is the greatest good He can give them, because by speaking it He makes of it a gift - first He matures it within the womb of His Divinity. Then, when He can no longer contain it, because His Love is such that it wants to see the creatures possessing that gift - to the extent of becoming fidgety and delirious and even of making Him languish for desire to see that good transmitted to them,... He gives it.

God finds Himself in the painful conditions of a poor mother who, once her pregnancy comes to term, feels as though she would die if she didn’t deliver her baby into daylight. God cannot die, but if He doesn’t deliver to the light the good to which He wants to give birth, His Love reaches such excesses that, if creatures could see it, they would understand how much a God can love, and how much they constrict God when they don’t accept the gift He wants to give them.

Therefore, when God finds one who receives it, He confirms the gift - He make a feast, feeling victorious for the good He gave them. And His baby delivered with so much love, being received by one single creature, will go around to all the creatures, and by its generative virtue it will regenerate many other births, filling the whole world. God will have the great glory of seeing Heaven and earth filled with His gift and His goods, and of seeing it possessed by those who want to receive it. God feels everywhere the loving voices - the notes of His speaking Love, returning to Him His repressed Love. God could not deliver this gift of His, had He not found at least one creature willing to receive.

Doing good is a passion for God. Giving is the continuous delirium of His Love, and in finding one who receives it, He feels His Life and His rest in that gift. God loves so much the first one who disposes herself to receive His gift that He trusts her, He make of her His secretary. And she, feeling so much loved by God, makes the commitment to love Him for all - and oh, what a contest between she and God!

Each word is an outpouring of God’s love to the creature. So, every word that He said on the Divine Will is love which He has poured out. Being refreshed by this outpouring God has continued to talk, to form a chain of His love outpourings, since what He had kept within Himself  was a repressed Love.  There is no good that a word of our outpouring of love cannot do. Therefore, letting God speak is the greatest good that can be done for the creatures: it is His Love being returned; it is giving a Divine Life to the creatures; it is the greatest glory He can receive

What can one of God’s words not do? It can do all. One can say that whoever is disposed to listen to it gives life to His word, since God never speaks if He doesn’t find one who wants to listen. The one who listens loves Him so much that God feels as if she wanted to give Him life in the midst of the creatures, so He gives His Life at her disposal. Therefore, let’s be attentive to listen! Let God pour out His love, because many times, when God has nobody to whom to express His love, these outpourings are justly turned into justice.


don Marco
Would you like to enter a comment? Sign up or do the Login!
Last comments 0 of 0
There are no comments