Forgiving: a work in progress

Today’s thoughts were occasioned by a Mass for the school children of St. Francis of Assisi School in Triangle, VA

Forgive us our sins as we forgive others” – that’s what it says in the Gospel. Those are the words of the Lord’s prayer, also called the “Our Father.”  In the first reading St. Paul says, “Forgive anyone who does you wrong just as Christ has forgiven you.” Let’s review… Christ has forgiven us and so we forgive others… pretty straight forward … this should be easy!

So… if someone asks you to forgive them, how do you forgive them?

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Perhaps you have come across this cartoon show from the early 1960 on the Cartoon Network or If you are old enough perhaps you saw it in the original broadcast – Magilla Gorilla.

The star of the show, Magilla Gorilla, spends most of each show in and around Mr. Peebles pet shop adsorbing a lot of Mr. Peeble’s attention and a great deal of food. Many people purchase Magilla Gorilla, but he is always returned for a refund because of some hi-jinx or another. A little girl, Ogee, love Magilla Gorilla but is unable to persuade her parents to acquire the love of her life.

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Jonah – overboard

11 “What shall we do with you,” they asked, “that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea was growing more and more turbulent.” 12 Jonah said to them,Pick me up and throw me into the sea, that it may quiet down for you; since I know it is because of me that this violent storm has come upon you.”

These were the ending verses in the previous post. But there was also a question to ponder: What is the motivation for Jonah to suggest being thrown into the sea? To be fair, the narrative is silent on the matter, we only know of the suggestion. It seems there are at least two plausible motivations:

  1. Jonah has had a change of heart. He has realized that his choices and actions are a wrecking ball in the lives of the captain and crew. In an altruistic moment, he takes responsibility and offers his life as the solution, as the means of salvation. He is willing to die as he recognizes his guilt before God.
  2. Jonah is not done running. If Tarshish is not far enough away, then maybe death is. He would rather die than obey God and be part of a potential rescue of the people of Nineveh from their sins.

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