January: The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-15)
Forgive Others Willingly – Forgive others when they hurt you
Thus far this school year we have reflected upon the first three Spiritual Works of
Instruct the Ignorant
Counsel the Doubtful
Admonish the Sinner

This month we think about the flip side of the third Spiritual Work of Mercy. We who are called to Admonish the Sinner at times, that is, to assist one another to journey the correct path, are likewise called to Forgive Others Willingly, when others hurt us in some way.
We pray for this gift of forgiveness for those who offend us each time we recite the Our Father. St. Matthew reminds us in our Gospel passage this month that this prayer asks the Father to “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” The final two verses of the passage explain the message even more thoroughly, “If you forgive others their
transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
Hence, the crux of Christianity is forgiveness, witnessed most poignantly in the actions of Jess throughout his life right up to the mercy he extended from the cross. Our challenge is clear as we start a new year. In 2022
will we resolve to become people of forgiveness – in our homes, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, in our world?