The Lord is kind and merciful; slow to anger, and rich in compassion. (Psalm 102)
Matthew's gospel today gives us Jesus' seminal teaching on forgiveness, and arguably one of Jesus' most important teachings because our own eternal destiny hangs on it. Indeed, we cannot overstate the importance of this teaching which never fails to inspire us with its truth and beauty until one fateful day...That is the day, and it happens to all of us, when we are called upon to truly forgive a wrong done to us. There usually exists in our minds a conflict between the heavenly teaching and our own human hurt, indignation, self-righteousness and , most powerfully, a wall of defence mechanisms. Or we find that we can forgive, but we can't forget and the old resentment arises again, and again..... Perhaps the best answer is to acknowledge, before our merciful Saviour. (like the addict) our total helplessness. Then (like the addict) ask the grace to want to want to forgive. (There are two wantings.)Then without doubting for a moment that the grace will be given, wait and see what happens.