Forgiveness of those who do us harm is essential to the Gospel. Jesus asks his Father to forgive those who are crucifying him, and reminds his disciples to put aside everything, even their pilgrimage to the Temple, to reconcile with those from whom they are separated.
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Mt 5: 22-24)Do we have the courage to accept Jesus' challenge in our daily lives? In recent months, families have been so deeply divided by their different political convictions that many either are not talking with one another or have agreed not to speak about politics at all. In the long run, this cannot be good. Reconciliation is an essential element of the Gospel message and we need to find ways to live authentically with those with whom we disagree. Otherwise, the power of the Gospel to heal will be undermined.
Today, forgive someone who has not asked it of you.
Are you holding a past hurt against a family member or friend?