Following up on yesterday’s post:

“Several years ago a television documentary followed the family of a young woman who had been brutally murdered.  Her murderer was eventually caught, convicted, and sentenced to death for the horrible crime.  The victim’s father was given permission to witness the execution, which he was certain would give him satisfaction and peace.  In a press conference held after the execution, the father was asked if it was all he hoped it would be.  He answered, ‘Absolutely!’  He paused and added, ‘My only regret is that I can’t watch him die again every day for the rest of my life.’  My heart sank watching this poor man who had been robbed of so much.  The execution did not give him back his daughter, and would never give him the peace he so desperately needed.  Jesus’ command to be overly generous in forgiving those who have hurt us deeply is really an invitation to freedom.  The Greek word used in the New Testament that we usually translate as ‘forgive’ can also be translated as ‘unbind’.  When we forgive another person, we are unbinding him or her from some past sin or hurt–but, often enough, the other person either will not or cannot receive the gift.  However, the act of forgiveness always unbinds and sets free our hearts as nothing else can.”  (Fr. Richard G. Smith)

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