There is a famous incident associated with Thomas Alva Edison, the renowned scientist.
Edison and his team had undertaken the tedious task of inventing the “light bulb”.
>> It took the team 24 hours to put one bulb together.
When it was ready, Edison gave the bulb to a young helper boy, to carry up to the steps.
>> Nervously, this young boy climbed the stairs…
… step by step, with extreme caution and fright – lest the priceless piece of work be dropped!
But the extremely anxious steps of the boy, caused the “unwanted” to happen…
… the bulb fell out of his hands..smashed to pieces!
Naturally, there was great disappointment and even annoyance at the boy.
The entire team worked for another 24 hours to make another bulb.
Finally it was ready… to be taken up the stairs..
Well, no points for guessing, to whom Edison gave this second bulb!
>> Yes, to the same boy, who had dropped and broken it the first time.
That’s true forgiveness, isn’t it?
The Gospel of the Day deals with the aspect of Forgiveness (Lk 17: 3-4)…
… which is the key for a harmonious living together.
Jesus says: “If your brother wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you, seven times saying, ‘I am sorry’, you should forgive him” (Lk 17: 4)
The example given by the Lord is an experience, which many of us, perhaps, have had in our personal lives….
A person does a wrong to me and I forgive him.
>> The same person hurts me once again and I forgive him
He does it again, causing a deeper wound to me and I forgive him again.
>> He does it again and offends me harder and I forgive him again….but this time I am losing my patience!
Don’t I have a limit for myself to bear?
>> Should I go on bearing hurts?
>> Don’t I have feelings which are sensitive?
So we perhaps ask this question to the Lord:
“Lord, how many times must I forgive the offenses of my brother?”
We are eager to know when to quit turning the other cheek to the one who hits you on one cheek!
The Old Testament Law suggested to forgive three times (Amos 1:3-13).
But the Lord..who loves to keep challenging… throws out a bigger number.
Now is this demand of the Lord something really practical and viable?
>> Or is Jesus turning out to be “one of those many idealistic teachers who love to talk in the air….but nothing which is practical or really feasible and doable!”
The Lord invites us to look into the Aspect of God’s Forgiveness, to obtain a solution and an insight to this perennial question of “how often should I forgive my fellow brother?”…
… If God were to forgive us only a limited number of times, how many days would we have survived?
… If God were to withdraw His Grace after an “x” number of times, how many situations would we have endured?
… If God were to stop granting us pardon after a period of time, how many blessings would we have been denied?
… If God were to keep an account of all our sins and transgressions, how many of us would have been alive today?
Of course, Forgiveness does not mean…
… justifying the bad behaviours of people!
… supporting the evil deeds of our fellow beings!
… encouraging the faults or situations of wrongdoing or hurts!
… not correcting and reproving the misdeeds and carrying out our duties of rectifying!
But Forgiveness does mean…
… liberating the people from guilt and condemnation in our hearts!
… to have no ill feelings and grudging emotions against the ones who have hurt us!
… seeking to love them, praying for them and avoiding occasions of putting them down!
… to refuse to harbor their mistakes deep in our hearts, though we are wounded & hurt!
Life is an opportunity and a challenge….
An Opportunity to become more Divine…to become more forgiving…to become more Loving…!
>> A Challenge to let go of our ego…to cast away our hurtful and wounded feelings…to go beyond our aches!
Let us seek God’s Grace to Live Up to this Challenge and to Grab this opportunity!
The “light bulb” of God’s Grace has often been entrusted to us by the Lord
>> Many are the times when, have “dropped it” and broken it into pieces!
.. Yet, the Lord entrusts it, again and again – forgiving us, and trusting in us.
>> Are we ready to do the same with others?
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Open your heart to your confessor; display to him all the recesses of your soul; take the advice that he will give you with the utmost humility and simplicity.
For God, Who has an infinite love for obedience, frequently renders profitable the counsels we take from others, but especially from those who are the guides of our souls!”