(Day Six) St. Jude, Compassionate Reconciler

St. Jude was a human being like all of us, and forgiveness did not come easily to him. He learned how to forgive others from the Master, our Lord, Jesus. He probably was shocked to hear Jesus say, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," so that you may "be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Mt 5:44, 48) But that is just what he did, and so must we. Jesus extended his mercy and forgiveness to sinners and even to those who attacked him. Even when he was dying on the cross, Jesus forgave his executioners, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."(Lk 23:34)

Like Paul, St. Jude preached that we should not let the sun go down upon our anger. (Eph 4:26) If we have anything against anyone, we must first reconcile with that person before presenting our gift at the altar. (Mt5:23-24)

Can we really forgive those who have offended us? And how many times can we forgive? When Peter asked Jesus that question, St. Jude probably heard about Jesus' answer: "Not seven times seven, but seventy times seven." (Mt 18:22)

When teaching St. Jude and the other apostles how to pray, Jesus explained, "If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you." (Mt 6:14) For this reason we ask for the strength to forgive those who have offended us as we pray the words Jesus taught us, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

Prayer :

St. Jude, apostle of mercy and reconciliation, help us to forgive one another. You understand the depth of God's compassion and our hesitancy to forgive. You learned how to be merciful from Jesus, the Son of God. He taught you how to forgive those who persecuted you and put you to death. Intercede for us now before our compassionate God that we might forgive those who have offended us. Help us to remove every trace of hatred, bitterness or revenge from our hearts. May we have the strength to forgive as God forgives. Amen.

Commitment :

I will forgive someone who has offended me and try to reconcile myself with that person.

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