Sunday Mass: How to Forgive

I liked the homily last Sunday for its relevance. I liked it so much I transcribed it (with liberal use of paraphrasing and translation).

Let me share the homily to you.

Christian Forgiveness

If a neighbor of yours scammed you out of 100,000 pesos, what would you do to forgive them? You might say, “I’ll pray for him.” Pwede. But do you know what I’ll do? I’ll file a case against him.

“Grabe, father!” You might react. But if you sue him, he will know he was wrong, and that’s when he’ll start to change. If you let him go, he’ll just move to another place and do the same thing.

He has to know he was in the wrong, even if it’s just by asking him to pay back the debt in increments.

When Jesus Christ forgave the woman, He didn’t say, “Go and keep sinning”. He said, “Go and sin no more”.

The aim of forgiveness is to help the person who has hurt you. So this is forgiveness – it is not forgetting, it is not letting go. It is making sure that the person is converted and changed.

Why am I inserting this into a homily about Christ the King? It’s because of what happened last Friday –Marcos was buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

If we forgive by letting the issue go, are we allowing them to change? Will they return the billions that were stolen? Or, like in that scam of the neighbor, were we fooled once and allowing ourselves to be fooled again?

I’m not a laywer. In fact, the Supreme Court said that it was legal. But the question is if it is moral. …It’s a symbolic cemetery; it means something for us Filipinos. By allowing him to be buried there, we are trampling on this symbol.

Should we forgive them? Yes, that is what Christ wants us to do. But we should forgive them in a way that allows them to change.

We are beginning to forget. And once we forget, what happened in the past can happen again.

Fr. Arnold Sanico, SDB
Padre Pio Parish
November 20, 2016

One Comment Add yours

  1. Peng Garing says:

    Nice post. We can only understand mercy if there is justice. I remember a saying, “True repentance, accepts punishment.”

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