Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.
Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty
Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: imagine someone asking for something, e.g. a favor, debt relief, forgiveness …
Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I would like to take small steps towards Jesus
1. Then Peter came and to him, Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?
a) Perhaps we would also like to get an answer from the outside, maybe even receive a written letter from God with precise instructions on what to do. However, everyone makes the decision by himself / herself, even if he / she received an advice of what and how much to do. It is up to you whether and how you use the advice. It is always your decision and your responsibility. How do you experience your responsibility for your life?
b) Very often we would like to clearly specify << how much? >> for our internal or external certainty. In the passage under consideration, Jesus shifts Peter’s attention from the word how much to the quality of forgiveness. This is well explained by Fr. S. Ormanty TChr in the Biblical Commentary (my translation): In those social conditions, incurring debts was commonplace. One servant had a small debt owed to his fellow servant: one hundred denarii, which is the equivalent of one hundred working days in Israel. Such debt contrasts strongly with the debt of the servant of the Lord – ten thousand talents are a huge sum, impossible to pay back; the talent was six thousand denarii. So, we have a great numerical contrast. In the face of such a great debt, the servant could only count on his generosity. And here lies the main meaning line of this parable. (Żywe bowiem jest słowo Boże, skuteczne… Komentarze biblijne do czytań na rok A, S.Ormanty TChr, Hlondianum, Poznań 2007, 313). What is the quality of your forgiveness for yourself and others? What does this parable encourage you in your life situation, where you are? Which debtor are you more aware of?
God loves you and he first comes to you and forgives your sins, faults. He does it out of love. For him, forgiveness is always a profit, meaning an ever-renewed relationship with a human being. Jesus’ reply: <<Not seven times, but I tell you, seventy-seven times.>>, introduces an infinite amount of forgiveness – always. God does not tire of forgiving. What moves me about this attitude of Jesus?
A small step
Pope Francis in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium in point 44 wrote: … A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties. Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God’s saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings.
Forgiveness is a process that needs time and continuous re-starting by taking small steps. Rather, forgiveness is about my inner attitude towards the other person, so that my feelings will not grow in me, which will stimulate me to some kind of revenge, to get back on the other person, but I will be able to say with more and more calmness that I wish well to my culprit. The gradual forgiveness adds hope that you can do it. What moves or touches you in this?
Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.
The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar, such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)