Johann Eck: Lesson in Forgiveness
Christenliche Ausslegung der Euangelienn, 16th century
Monday of the Second Week of Lent
Gospel: Lk 6:36-38
Forgive, and you will be forgiven (NRSV, Lk 6:37b).
Let us pray.
Father, everything begins with you. In the order of being you are before the Word whom you beget and the Holy Spirit who proceeds from both you and the Word. We, your created daughters and sons, have received everything that we are from you through the Word. The life that we live is life in your Holy Spirit that is mediated to us through the Word. That life, as all life, has its origin in you.
Forgiveness too begins in you. When, seduced by the sin of the world and our own desires, we turn away from you, Father, to do evil; when we reject life in the Holy Spirit, always offered to us through the Word; you, Father, are, through the Word, ever present to us offering us forgiveness and new life. Every moment is for us the saving moment. It is impossible for us at any moment here in this world to put ourselves beyond the pale of grace and salvation.
Your forgiveness, Father, is freely given. It is the renewed gift of your own life, a second raft always offered, that catches us up once again in your own divine life of giving, receiving and sharing in love.
All of this is revealed to us through the Word at every moment in every place and time at the depth of our being and made manifest effectively for us in the same one act that is your being, Father, in the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus the Christ, the Word made flesh.
Your forgiveness then has no price. It need only be accepted by us. But once truly accepted it has its marvelous effect. To accept forgiveness from you, Father, means that we also forgive ourselves for what we have done, task not possible without your divine grace. Forgiveness of self opens the way to forgiveness of those who have sinned against us, so that divine life, mediated to us through the Word, indeed the Word made flesh, is then passed on by us to others through participation in the one mediation of the Word.
Divine life is giving, receiving and sharing in love, not only by Father, Word, and Spirit, but by all who accept your forgiveness, Lord, and take part in everything that you are.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.