While Jesus was talking to the people, his mother and his brothers wanted to speak to him, and they waited outside. So someone said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside; they want to speak with you.”
Jesus answered, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look! Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Some people are like elephants. They have a very long memory. If you have wronged them, they might forgive you after you have begged them to do so. But they will never forget what you did to them. As the expression goes about “burying the hatchet” (making peace, reconciling), they did accept to bury the hatchet, but they remember exactly where they buried it. Because of this, such people can hardly believe that God can “forgive and forget.” In their eyes that would be just too good to be true.
Yet, in many parts of the Bible God assures us that, once he forgives our sins, he forgets them forever. For example, we hear God say in the Book of Jeremiah: “I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more” (Jer 31:34–quoted in Heb 8:12 and 10:17). The same idea is expressed in today’s first reading, where we hear the prophet Micah describing God as “casting all our sins into the depths of the sea.” That is the kind of God our God is. When he buries the hatchet, he throws it where it can never be found!
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