As a kid, when I would fight with my brothers, my parents would sit us in a corner until we made up. I remember I would always rush to a quick and sheepish apology, ¿me perdonas? (do you forgive me?). The faster the apology, the sooner we could go back and play.

As we get older, forgiveness has become a lot more complex. I find it a lot harder to ask for forgiveness, and at times even harder to grant it to others, or even myself. Today’s gospel invites us to reflect on who may need forgiveness in our lives. Might it be a loved one, a colleague, or might I need to forgive myself? This time of Lent is an opportunity to practice the act of mercy more deeply, with God, ourselves and those around us.

How is God inviting me to forgiveness? Whom do I need to seek forgiveness with: God, myself, others? What way can I practice mercy today?

—Marcos Gonzales, a Jesuit scholastic of the California province, is completing his masters of social work at Loyola University Chicago and interning with the Cook County Juvenile Probation Department.