Sculpted by Svetlana,
Executed in 2022,
Polymer clay and crystallisation processes
© Sveletana / Handmadehome

Sculpted by Svetlana,
Executed in 2022,
Polymer clay and crystallisation processes
© Sveletana / Handmadehome

Gospel of 14 March 2023

To be forgiven, you must forgive

Matthew 18:21-35

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.

‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’

Reflection on the sculpture

Forgiveness is more than just condoning. Forgiveness is more than just forgetting. Forgiveness is more than just excusing. Forgiveness is more than just minimising our hurt. Forgiveness is more than just suppressing our anger. Forgiveness is more than ignoring a wrongdoing. Forgiveness is more than forgetting… Forgiving our brothers and sisters means that we let go of resentment, giving up any claim to be compensated for the hurt or loss we have suffered, and actively love the person who hurt us.

Nr. 2844 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states it beautifully: ‘Forgiveness is a high-point of Christian prayer’. A short, but yet very powerful phrase worth spending a bit of time reflecting on.

Today’s artwork is not a photograph but a sculpture using polymer clay, crystals and plants. The artist, Svetlana, makes these sculptures combining nature, chemistry, and fantastical compositions. We see a heart which is hardened. It isn’t red, but almost white, stone-white. Titled ‘Forgiveness’ the sculpture evokes what happens when we forgive: new shoots of growth start rising in our hearts, new things blossom… a new Spring will be upon us.

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Maria Contreras
Maria Contreras(@gera)
14 days ago

Como dice> “El perdón es el punto culminante de la oración cristiana”. Debemos perdonar si queremos tener libertad en el coraz[on.

Jennifer Robinson
Jennifer Robinson(@jen)
15 days ago

I like this very much and it is very important these days where blame and criticism seem so common. I feel true forgiveness comes from understanding the bigger picture and from understanding springs love.

Alice Baird
Alice Baird(@alice-b)
15 days ago

What a magnificent piece! The stone-like color of the heart evokes for me God’s promise to take our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh. I pray for that for someone in my life who is very unforgiving, and when I told his sister my prayer for him, she said, “That is not enough.” This piece symbolizes for me an intermediate phase between stone and flesh: the cracks that must appear for new life to find root, for blood to actually begin to flow. Truly remarkable. I wonder where you find these unexpected artworks, Father Patrick. You make extraordinary connections every day!

Andy Bocanegra
Andy Bocanegra(@bogie29)
15 days ago

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

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