From Father Saliba: Serving God by Forgiving Offenses

The reading of today is from the Gospel of St. Luke 17, when the Lord was talking first of the offenses, and then forgiveness, and then at the end by serving.

“It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” – Luke 17:1-2

In our life there are a lot of obstacles and the relationship between people is very difficult and complicated. Sometimes there is a lot of stumbling in our life. Sometimes it comes from our friends, family members, leaders. We have a lot of experiences in our life when we were misled, and we were lost. We don’t have the real path. And all of this because somebody has some influence or control, and misused his power on us.

But keep in mind, the Lord is warning us be careful and not to be the cause for these sins for anyone in your life. What we know here is that the punishment could be difficult. We have to be careful not to cause struggling for anyone in life.

First of all, we have to understand that the Lord loves us, and He doesn’t want anyone of us to be struggling or to be a struggle for anyone else.

And how to fix it, the verses 3 & 4 say:

“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

If somebody causes sin to us and comes to us to repent, we have to forgive them. We have to be built on love & forgiveness to have very healthy relationships. Even with our God & Father, when we do any mistakes or anything wrong, He is waiting for us to get back to Him for forgiveness and apologize. “God, by your mercy, forgive me, and by your power help me not to do it again.

First, you have to forgive, and grant forgiveness to anyone who comes with an apology. Not looking into his heart, not talking about his attitude or sincerity. Second, we don’t have to wait to see their sincerity or if they are really honest in their apology, we have to forgive them. And the third, talking about the 7 times in a day – every single time he comes back to say “I feel guilty. I am looking for your forgiveness” – we have to forgive him.

God is looking for our wellbeing and to have a healthy relationship between His children, us, as human beings. When we have a healthy relationship among us, for sure we will have a good & healthy relationship with Him. Because if we are in accordance in one harmony among us, our relationship with Him will be in harmony. He does not want anybody to be punished, He does not want anyone to be far from Him, but he is giving us the way to give back to Him by forgiving each other every time. And it does not matter how many mistakes we do every day.

Learn more in Father Saliba’s sermon video here.