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Friday, February 28, 1997

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Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28
Psalm 105
Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

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great forgiveness

"He made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions." —Psalm 105:21

After Jesus fasted for forty days in the desert, He "returned in the power of the Spirit" (Lk 4:14). Likewise, we will emerge from this Lenten fast as great men and women of God, "filled with faith and the Holy Spirit" (Acts 6:5), but only if we accept God's grace to forgive those who have hurt us.

Joseph became one of the greatest people in history and one of the most powerful men in the world, but he first had to forgive his brothers for planning to murder him and for eventually selling him into slavery (Gn 37:20, 28). Jesus, the Greatest of all, God Himself, was the Stone rejected by the builders (Mt 21:42). Jesus was rejected so viciously that He was nailed to a cross. There He prayed: "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34). The greatest people are the greatest forgivers.

Forgiveness is one of the major graces given in our fasting. Forgiveness is the road to greatness, the way of the cross, the vocation of every person. Forgive and be great.

Prayer:  Father, may I forgive as Jesus forgave when He hung on the cross.

Promise:  "The Stone Which the builders rejected has become the Keystone of the structure. It was the Lord Who did this and we find it marvelous to behold." —Mt 21:42; Ps 118:22-23

Praise:  John forgave his absent father.

Reference:  (For more teaching on this subject, order our pamphlets, Unforgiveness is the Cause, Fourteen Questions on Forgiveness, and Forgiveness and Evangelization.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 1, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 6, 1996