Thursday, July 19, 2012

Forgiveness in Vegas


Arturo Martinez-Sanchez says he had no choice but to forgive the man suspected of sexually assaulting and killing his wife and young daughter in an April 2012 attack that also left him seriously wounded. “I have to forgive him, to go the way of life,” the Las Vegas man said in a July 17 interview. “It’s in the Bible…I forgive him because I believe in God.”

I’m reminded of the death of Garcia Moreno (1821–1875), president of Ecuador who was assassinated. As he lay dying from his knife and gun wounds, the priest at his side commanded him, “You must forgive this. You must forgive your killer.” Moreno replied, “I do forgive him;” he expired soon after.

We do not exercise vengeance, and it is a Divine prerogative to exact justice. Those in authority who have the duty to administer justice are executing a mandate that has its source in Heaven.This does not mean that as individuals we ignore or quietly accept every harm inflicted on us — our Lord (John 18:23) and St. Paul (Acts 23:3) both rebuked their attackers and serve as our example.

We must be more eager to forgive than to retaliate. Justice must also be served.

Blessed are:
* the poor in spirit

* the meek
* they who mourn
* they that hunger and thirst after justice
* the merciful
* the clean of heart
* the peacemakers
* they that suffer persecution for justice's sake

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