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If seven times in a day he returns to say to you, “I repent,” you shall forgive him.
From the Gospel according to Luke
Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
The Gospel of the Lord
From setting a negative example to becoming a witness.
And who among us has not, at some point, caused offense to one of our young ones or our neighbour? We find ourselves collectively in a prolonged queue, each with a metaphorical millstone fastened around our necks, perched at the precipice, awaiting the well-deserved nudge. It is for this reason that the apostles implore the Lord for greater faith, for salvation lies solely in faith, and it is through faith alone that the essential transformation within us becomes possible, transitioning us from being a source of scandal to becoming witnesses of God’s love.
Applied to marital life:
James: Today, I feel compelled to extend my apologies to our children. I am aware of the numerous instances where I have inadvertently caused them distress over the years.
Kate: That is a commendable decision, James. Undoubtedly, you have been an authentic example in many respects, but there have been instances where your conduct fell short of setting a positive example. Therefore, by seeking forgiveness, you are poised to cease being a negative influence and once again assume the role of a witness to Christ’s love for them.
James: Thank you, Kate. Your words are reassuring, as I am burdened by a profound sense of guilt.
Kate: You are most welcome, James. I, too, shall take this opportunity to seek forgiveness, recognizing my own shortcomings. Thank you for sharing with me this inspiration from The Holy Spirit.
The Lord accords significant importance to the adverse examples we present to others. Mother, even if solely motivated by this consideration, let us summon adequate strength and graciously embrace the divine favor to resist succumbing to the temptation of lovelessness.
Praise be to the merciful God.