Thinking about a topic for the week I often look at the coming week to see what feasts or memorials we might be celebrating. This coming week gives us the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the memorial of St. John Bosco and St. Blaise, but what caught my attention was a little less liturgical or even religious, we also have Groundhog Day. Some of you might recall the movie titled “Groundhog Day” where Bill Murray relives the same day over and over again and he eventually decides what he needs to do is to get the day just right, then he will get out of this continuous repeating of the same day over and over and over again.
I know some people who state that if they had their lives to live over again they wouldn’t change a thing, since it would change who they are. I guess that is a nice sentiment in some ways, but I hope most of us can think of a way they might be better. When we go to the sacrament of Reconciliation we confess and are sorry for our sins, hopefully that means that if we had the opportunity to relive those moments we would choose not to do them again. But since most of us are not living over the same life, or even just the same day again we realize that isn’t very realistic. So what can we do? We can try not to do the same thing again. But I would suggest another thing that we would hopefully do differently if we had the opportunity to redo, but we might not think of it as often, that is to forgive.
We might not think of this because if we had it to do over why even do the thing that needs forgiving in the first place? But we don’t always have control of that. Even if we are reliving the same day we can’t change someone else’s actions, but we can chose to forgive where we hadn’t before. As I said, I think we can overlook forgiveness as something we do, or we can do, all too often because it doesn’t seem to be the main part of the action. But think of the times when we have been forgiven, by God of course, but also by someone else we know we hurt, the type of forgiveness that we know we can do. Just like the opportunity God gives us when He forgives us, we can start building that relationship again without the constant reminder and barrier of our sin, hopefully making it even stronger than it was before.
The best part about forgiveness is that we don’t have to relive our lives, or even relive a day, we can chose to forgive now. If there was something that happened yesterday, or weeks, or years ago, that we recognize we should have forgiven but didn’t, we still have the opportunity to do so. It may not be exactly the same as if we had forgiven right away (we can do that next time), but we can still do it. So if you are thinking of what you would do if you could live the day over again, why not choose something you can do now and forgive someone we need to in our life.