May I Walk With You? Forgiveness

December 16, 2019

Daniel Fachting, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist, Lay Minister at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Clare, and Chancellor for Knights of Columbus Council #3029. He can be reached at

What ever happened to the notion that people ought to forgive one another? When I think of forgiveness, the first thing that comes to mind is that none of us is perfect and that each of us needs to be forgiven at one time or another. Another thing that comes to mind is that I am a sinner in that as St. Paul says he often does what he shouldn’t do and at other times he doesn’t do what he should. That too, describes me. I am also reminded that I am forgiven by God for my transgressions. It also seems that I am not always aware of when I injure others. There are some people who have harmed me.

Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive others, seven times? Jesus responded by saying that we ought to forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven times. In other words, there is no limit to the times we ought to forgive. One of the marks of a Christian is forgiveness, to forgive and be forgiven.

There appears to be one remedy for when someone has been injured. Whether it be in a car accident, in an unhealthy relationship, by being abused by a loved one, or an industrial accident, by asbestos or roundup, we seem to be awfully quick to call for a lawyer and go after the ones who harmed us. The message seems to be that if you have been injured that you deserve the revenge of getting remuneration. We seem to live more by the eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth mentality.

In our world today we have no limits on the number of ways people are injured. There seems to be no limit on sins committed by ourselves as well as others. Just pick up any newspaper or internet news and you will become aware that the news is full of people hurting other people. What you will not find very often are people forgiving and being forgiven. Christians are called to be different. Jesus calls us to forgiveness. He calls us to forgive others as he has forgiven us.

In our world of injury and harm it would be good for us to remember the words of Jesus as he addresses the crowd about to stone the woman caught in adultery, “Let he who has not sinned, cast the first stone.”

“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”

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