A story is told of a woman who went to her priest. "I keep having this vision," she said. "But I don't know whether it's real or not. I don't know whether to believe it or to have my head examined."
"Tell me about it," the priest suggested.
"Well, in this vision," the woman explained, "Jesus appears to me, just as real as you are right now. And he speaks to me, just like you're speaking to me. He tells me things."
"What things?" the priest asked, his brow wrinkling.
"He tells me that he loves me," she answered. "He tells me that he hears my prayers and that he loves it when I spend time with him." "I see," the priest said.
"Is there any way to know whether my visions are real?" the woman asked.
"I'll tell you what," the priest answered. "The next time our Lord appears to you in a vision, ask him to tell you what sins I confessed to him that morning. Then when he tells you, come to see me, and we will know whether it is really the Lord."
The woman agreed to the plan and returned to her home. The very next morning she appeared on the priest's doorstep.
The priest seemed surprised to see her. "So," he said, "did you ask our Lord what sins I confessed to him this morning?"
The woman bowed her head and nodded.
"And what did he say?"
The woman raised her eyes to look at the priest. "He said, 'I have forgotten!'" The priest laid a hand on the woman's shoulder and smiled. "It is the Lord!" he said.
That story may or may not be true. But the point of the story is true: Jesus forgives us so completely that, although he knows everything, he forgets our sins once he has forgiven them! And he says that is how we ought to forgive each other.
The Bible says, "Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you" (Colossians 3:13, The Message). We know that forgiveness is right not only because God commands us to forgive but also because God has forgiven us. So we should forgive each other-quickly and completely.
REFLECT: Why is it right to forgive others? According to today's Bible reading, how should we forgive others? Is there anyone you need to forgive today? If so, why not do it now? Is there anyone you need to ask for forgiveness? If so, why not do it now?
PRAY: "Lord, thank you for forgiving and forgetting my sins. Please help me to do what is right and forgive others as quickly and completely as you have forgiven me."