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Pope John Paul II - Gospel of Christ - Forgive and you shall be forgiven   Forgive and you shall be forgiven - Pope John Paul II

Divine Mercy
Matt 18:21-22
21 Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"
22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

When we pray the Our Father, sometimes we forget to forgive others and we miss out on the Divine Mercy of God that ask that we forgive in order to be forgiven.

Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. The Holy Father echoed the redemptive work of Christ by his continuous offering, by his life of sacrifice and commitment and by his preaching on forgiveness.

Demonstrating with his personal deeds, he visited the man who attempted to kill him and forgave him for his wrong doing. He exhorted the faithful to be merciful as our Heavenly Father is merciful.

He canonized Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska from Poland who received from Our Lord the Devotion to the Divine Mercy. Forgiveness is the key to peace. We must reconcile and be at Peace with God, with our fellowmen and with ourselves.

The Holy Father sought reconciliation with the Jews and the Moslems, he asked them to forgive Catholics for previous misunderstandings and he opened the way for better relations in the future with many other religions.

Being a priest as well as popepapa, he was entrusted with the Sacrament of Reconciliation, by which the Church was given authority to forgive sins. The Holy Father encouraged the faithful to make use of the Sacraments available in our Catholic Church.

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Forgiveness, the high road

1 JANUARY 2002

10. Forgiveness is not a proposal that can be immediately understood or easily accepted; in many ways it is a paradoxical message.

Forgiveness in fact always involves an apparent short-term loss for a real long-term gain. Violence is the exact opposite; opting as it does for an apparent short-term gain, it involves a real and permanent loss. Forgiveness may seem like weakness, but it demands great spiritual strength and moral courage, both in granting it and in accepting it. It may seem in some way to diminish us, but in fact it leads us to a fuller and richer humanity, more radiant with the splendor of the Creator.

My ministry at the service of the Gospel obliges me, and at the same time gives me the strength, to insist upon the necessity of forgiveness. I do so again today in the hope of stirring serious and mature thinking on this theme, with a view to a far-reaching resurgence of the human spirit in individual hearts and in relations between the peoples of the world.

11. Reflecting on forgiveness, our minds turn naturally to certain situations of conflict which endlessly feed deep and divisive hatreds and a seemingly unstoppable sequence of personal and collective tragedies. I refer especially to what is happening in the Holy Land, that blessed place of God's encounter with man, where Jesus, the Prince of Peace, lived, died and rose from the dead.

The present troubled international situation prompts a more intense call to resolve the Arab Israeli conflict, which has now been going on for more than fifty years, with alternate phases of greater or lesser tension. The continuous recourse to acts of terror and war, which aggravate the situation and diminish hope on all sides, must finally give way to a negotiated solution. The rights and demands of each party can be taken into proper account and balanced in an equitable way, if and when there is a will to let justice and reconciliation prevail. Once more I urge the beloved peoples of the Holy Land to work for a new era of mutual respect and constructive accord.

Apostle of Divine Mercy
During Regina Caeli Sunday, 7 April 2002
3. The liturgy today invites us to see in Divine Mercy the source of that authentic peace that the risen Christ offers us. The wounds of the risen and glorious Lord are the permanent sign of God's merciful love for humanity. From them flows a spiritual light that enlightens consciences and pours into hearts comfort and hope.

In this complicated and difficult hour we repeat "Jesus, I trust in you", knowing that we need that Divine Mercy that more than a half century ago the Lord so generously manifested to St Faustina Kowalska. Wherever trials and difficulties are harsher, may the invocation of the Risen Lord be more insistent and may prayer for the gift of his Holy Spirit, source of love and peace, be more heartfelt.

During Angelus message
Dear young friends! Recently in Toronto, Canada, a special meeting of youth from throughout the world took place, a meeting that occurs every two years called World Youth Day. It was a marvellous event, filled with a spirit of faith; faith is the solid foundation for the enthusiasm of young people’s aspirations and plans. As I said on the shores of Lake Ontario, we have re-lived the experience of the people of Galilee, to whom Jesus entrusted the message of the Beatitudes beside the Lake Tiberias. Today I return from that experience, keeping in mind the message of Divine Mercy. Through Saint Faustina, God entrusts this message to you, so that in its light you can better understand what it means to be poor in spirit, to be merciful, to be peacemakers, to hunger and thirst for justice, and finally to suffer persecution for Jesus’ name.

During Homily at Mass
Tuesday, 15 June 1999, Kraków

Hence, with Saint Paul, I ask you, brothers and sisters: take as your model the sound principles, in faith and love in Jesus Christ. Safeguard the deposit with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you (cf. 2 Tim 1:13-14). Carry it into the third Christian millennium with the pride and humility of witnesses. Transmit to future generations the message of divine Mercy, which in this city was made manifest to the world. At the end of the twentieth century the world appears more than ever to be in need of such a message. Bring it into the new times as a promise of hope and pledge of salvation.

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