The restrictions that have been imposed due to the pandemic, particularly the lockdowns, have often caused or increased tensions in personal relationships. Forgiveness is needed. But forgiveness requires strength, courage and practice.
Families often fall apart because they don’t know how to forgive. Long-standing hatreds maintain divisions between relatives, social groups and peoples. At times, some people even teach others not to forget the wrongs done to them and to nurse their desire for revenge… Blind resentment poisons the soul and corrodes the heart.
Some people think that forgiveness is weakness. It isn’t. It’s the expression of extreme courage and of true love in its most genuine form, because it is the least self-interested. ‘For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?’ Jesus said, because anyone can do this. But you must, ‘Love your enemies’ (Mt 5: 43-47).
We too are asked to learn from him and have the love of a father, the love of a mother, a merciful love for whoever we meet during the day, and especially those who make mistakes. The New Testament asks even more of those called to live a spirituality of communion, in other words Christian spirituality: ‘Forgive each other’ (Col. 3:13). Mutual love demands almost a pact among us: to be ready to forgive one another always. This is the only way we can contribute to building universal fraternity.
Taken from the Word of Life of September 2002