Thursday, February 19, 2015

Forgiveness isn’t an Action; Forgiveness is an Experience

The Gospel lesson for the final Sunday of the Triodion, known as Forgiveness Sunday, begins with the words, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6.14-15) With these words, the Church crosses the threshold of Great Lent urging us to experience the freedom that is forgiveness.

When we normally think of forgiveness, we think of an action that WE do for others. We normally think of forgiveness as a “one-way” street from one mind to another. But a “one-way” street leaves no chance for returning to our heart for the healing that is only possible with genuine forgiveness. It isn’t accidental that the Greek word which has been translated as forgiveness, “συγχωρώ” means, “to come in together into our heart,” and requires a relationship between two people. By necessity it is an experience made possible when two people agree to enter into a common place of the heart.

In the moment we decide to allow others to join us in our heart, is the moment that we truly live as Christ, Who welcomes us not only into His heart, but into His Divine eternal embrace. When God chose to forgive us, He invited us “to come in to His Being” and experience the most intimate reality of His love, because forgiveness isn’t an action. Forgiveness is an experience.

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