Indebted to Christ for Being Freed of Debt

SS Peter and Paul

“It is evident from the Scripture that forgiveness of offences – debts – is central to the teaching and ministry of Christ, and fundamental to our own salvation, and the inclination to forgive even appears to be ingrained in our nature, though frequently it is not manifested and often it is ardently resisted. Moreover, Christ is firm and absolute in telling us that if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven. It is evident, therefore, that any failure on our part to forgive, forms a barricade between us and the heavenly kingdom, a wall between us and God. Forgiveness of others and sincere repentance are intimately related, for when we search our own souls and examine our own sinful disposition and the condition of our own characters, it is easier to forgive others.  […]  

St. Paul converted by Christ

One who has not forgiven others absolutely has not repented of his own sins. He is still in bondage to Satan through his own malice and bitterness; he is still judging his neighbor. Those Christ warns, ‘Do not judge, let you be judged in the same manner.’ Which one of us could survive if we were truly judged with the same measure, criterion and rigidness with which we dare to judge others? Not only is it perfect and all-wise justice that we should be judged by the same standard with which we judge others, and that we should not be forgiven if we have not forgiven others, but no matter how present and available God’s mercy is, one who does not forgive cannot receive forgiveness, because he has not even begun to repent and not even truly sough God’s forgiveness.” (Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, Not By Bread Alone: Homilies on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, pp 54-54)

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