“Well I don’t forgive you!”
I heard those words coming from my boys’ bedroom on Friday. I immediately sighed and called the boys back to me. “Ok, lets try this apology thing again,” I said.
It had been a long Friday at home, and the twins had gotten along fairly well all day. But then, in the early afternoon while they were supposed to be playing nicely in their room, their play had devolved into a tickle fest and then into a wrestling match that ended with hands grabbing faces and imparting unexpected scratches. They broke free from one another and both ran to me to tell on the other with an air of “Just wait til you hear what HE did, mommy.”
Funny how the harmful actions of another are always so much clearer to be seen than our own.
We spoke about how we don’t grab each other’s faces and how wrestling can lead to injury… and then we spoke about forgiveness. “Now tell each other your sorry,” I said.
As they ran off down the hall, I heard them shout “I’m sorry brother!” simultaneously. One immediately replied “I forgive you” while the other couldn’t help but jab back just once for good measure: “Well I DON’T forgive you.”
Maybe they could use a bit of the wisdom of today’s readings, huh?
Today’s readings speak about forgiveness. In fact, there is a constant refrain of mercy from the first reading to the Gospel. We are reminded that the call is to forgive one another over and over again. The call is for us to shower each other with boundless mercy, to be a reflection of the God whose mercy for us never runs out.
Now my twins may have had the boldness to speak the words out loud, but how many of us say internally “I don’t forgive you” every day? To others… to ourselves?
My prayer for you and me today is that we are given the grace to practice being merciful this week. And that we are able to feel the boundless mercy God has for each one of us every time we fall.