Skip to content

Archbishop Gomez on the Force of Forgiveness

By Archbishop Jose Gomez
3/12/2013 (3 years ago)
The Tidings (www.the-tidings.com)

God's mercy and forgiveness are the essential message of the Gospel

Our culture has become a culture of complaint and righteous anger - where people are quick to condemn and quick to judge. Our culture has become a culture of no forgiveness. We have to watch out that we don't get caught up in this. Our Christian faith should always make us different. We have to try to be people of pardon and peace. People of mercy and forgiveness.

Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

P>LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We need to become better at forgiveness. That is one of the messages we hear in our Gospel readings as we approach the half-way point of this holy season of Lent.

In one of the Gospels this week, St. Peter asks Jesus how many times he has to forgive someone. And Jesus tells him, "Seventy times seven times." In other words, every time. And the Gospel for this coming Sunday is the parable of the Prodigal Son, which is a beautiful lesson in God's mercy and forgiveness.

This is a lesson that we all need to learn more and more.

We ask God for this grace every day in the prayer that Jesus taught us - Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

But how hard it is for us to live these words! How easy it becomes for us to fall into critical judgments of others.

It is true we can find a lot that deserves criticism. There are many sinners and many scandals and injustices in our world.

This was true also in Jesus' time. But he came to show us a different way. And it is urgent these days that we try harder to live this different way of Jesus Christ.

Our culture has become a culture of complaint and righteous anger - where people are quick to condemn and quick to judge. Our culture has become a culture of no forgiveness.

We have to watch out that we don't get caught up in this. Our Christian faith should always make us different. We have to try to be people of pardon and peace. People of mercy and forgiveness.

God's mercy and forgiveness are the essential message of the Gospel. Jesus came "to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins," the Gospel tells us.

Jesus was very clear - the mercy we seek from God must be the mercy that we show to others.

In the new evangelization of this culture, we are called to make mercy and forgiveness our message and our witness to the world.

The world is looking for Jesus Christ. And when people go looking for him, they are going to turn naturally to those of us who say we know him. To those of us who say we believe in Jesus and live according to his Word and his example.

What do they find when they look at us? Do they see Jesus? Do they find a reflection of God's own mercy and forgiveness?

Lent is a time for us to be honest with ourselves. It's easy to see the faults of others. But it's also easy to forget how often we disappoint God by our own lack of love, by our own failures to be faithful.

In our Christian lives we are always stretching towards Jesus and the holiness he calls us to. And we know that we fall down all the time.

But every time we fail, we have forgiveness. God's mercy is always there for us. His judgments are kind. They are the judgments of a Father who loves us.

Can we say the same thing about our own judgments? About our thoughts and words about those who are in our lives or in the news?

We will bring more people to Jesus through our mercy and forgiveness than through our critical judgments - no matter how right we might be and no matter how wrong the other person might be.

To forgive is to make an act of faith. When we forgive, we aren't forgetting or excusing the sins of the past. By our forgiveness, we are saying that we believe God is the only judge.

Our task as Christians is not to judge. Jesus said, Judge not and you will not be judged (Luke 6: 37). He calls us to forgive the sinner and to repair the damage done by his sin. We are called to bring sinners to God, to right the wrongs they have committed, and to heal the wounds and divisions they have caused.

So this week, as we continue to pray for our Church and our new Pope, let us pray for the grace to be people of true mercy and forgiveness.

We need to remember that we are all sinners, some of us worse than others. But all of us stand in need of God's mercy. This is the beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is God's school of love, where we experience his mercy, which is the mercy he wants us to extend to others.

So let's ask our Blessed Mother Mary, the Mother of Mercy and the Refuge of Sinners, to help us be people of forgiveness who are building a society of merciful love and justice.

---

This story was made available to Catholic Online by permission of The Tidings (www.the-tidings.com), official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.


Comments



More Lent & Easter


'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead'

Luke 24:46

Lent Event

Importance

Ash Wednesday

March 1, 2017

Image of Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting... continue reading

Palm Sunday

April 9, 2017

Image of Palm Sunday Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels... continue reading

Holy Week

April 9 - 15, 2017

Image of Holy Week On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by... continue reading

Holy Thursday

April 13, 2017

Image of Holy Thursday Holy Thursday is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover... continue reading

Good Friday

April 14, 2017

Image of Good Friday On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week... continue reading

Easter Sunday

April 16, 2017

Image of Easter Sunday Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I calls it the greatest feast, and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter... continue reading

Stations of the Cross

Every Friday

Image of Stations of the Cross Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion... continue reading

Fasting and Abstinence

Every Friday

Image of Fasting and Abstinence For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the... continue reading

Image of What did you give up for Lent? From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year... continue reading

Ascension of Our Lord

Thursday May 25, 2017

Image of Ascension of Our Lord The Ascension of Our Lord, a Holy Day of Obligation, celebrates the day that Christ, in the presence of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven. The Ascension occurred on the 40th day of Easter, a Thursday... continue reading

Pentecost

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Image of Pentecost Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church, celebrated early enough to be mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (20:16) and Corinthians (16:8)... continue reading

Image of Lent FAQ's Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple... continue reading

Mardi Gras

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Image of Mardi Gras In France, the people feasted on foods that would be given up during the forty days of Lent. Meats, eggs, and milk were finished off in one day, giving the holiday its French title of 'Mardi Gras' which means Fat Tuesday... continue reading

Image of Transformed by Easter The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community... continue reading

Image of Appearances He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. - Matthew 28:6. Learn more about the Post-Resurrection Appearances of Jesus Christ... continue reading

Image of Easter Gifts CatholicShopping.com offers a variety of Easter gifts & Easter treats for all ages! Choose a gift for someone special and celebrate the joy of Easter... continue reading

Easter / Lent News

Pope Francis delivers special Lenten message (FULL TEXT: ENGLISH) Watch

Image of Pope Francis warns us against ignoring God's word.

Pope Francis released a beautiful Lenten message titled "The Word." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lent begins Wednesday, March 1 and ... continue reading


Did you know the Catholic Church has a birthday? Watch

Image of Pentecost is widely considered the birthday of the Catholic Church.

Happy birthday to the Catholic Church! Happy birthday to you, who are the body of the Church! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We're all ... continue reading


8 thought-provoking Easter quotes to inspire Watch

Image of Easter is more than eggs and bunnies.

We all love to celebrate Easter with brightly colored hard boiled eggs, candy, cute pictures of bunnies and chicks and we all love to ... continue reading


The surprising origins of the Easter Bunny -- it's not what you think! Watch

Image of Rejoice! The beloved Easter Bunny has very Christian origins.

The Easter Bunny is a symbol of Easter that is popular in western culture, especially with children. According to folklore, the Easter ... continue reading


'The Easter message of the risen Christ': Listen to Pope Francis' Easter Mass Watch

Image of Pope Francis celebrated the Easter Mass and focused on Christ and refugees (Reuters).

On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, Pope Francis stood before pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's Square for the traditional Urbi et Orbi ... continue reading


The Lent and Easter Season... by CatholicShopping.com

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.