The life of Jesus brings us the wonderful message of God’s mercy, Love that envelops and forgives everything. Building peace means putting it into practice in everyday life, to discover the beauty of a gift that revives people and makes them free.
And there was peace
My sister had been fighting with a friend for months. I invited her to my house one day to try and help her make peace. Before she arrived, however, I told my granddaughter Sandra, aged eight, about the problem and asked her to help me. She gladly said yes. I went straight to the point with my sister, but there was nothing to be done, she did not intend to forgive. Before leaving, she approached Sandra who was playing, asked her about the school, if she had learned to write: “Yes, if you give me a page, I’ll show you.” She casually wrote something. When my sister read it, she immediately became thoughtful and her eyes filled with tears. Sandra had written this sentence: “To live the art of loving you have to love everyone, be the first to love, love your enemies…” My sister said “I needed her to tell me what I should have done a long time ago!” and immediately she went to make up with her friend.
(N.G. – Cameroon)
Forgiveness that heals
When I was nineteen, my father abandoned us and the pain and resentment of this accompanied me for years. As if to make up for that emptiness, when I got married, Nat and I always tried to keep our family together. Our children absorbed this atmosphere of love to the point that, when my husband was anxious, lost his patience and raised his voice, it was touching to see how the children, not at all frightened, embraced him, almost to appease his agitation. Their tenderness towards their father helped to dissolve the anger I felt towards my father; the wound I still had because of the suffering of that abandonment began to heal. Then one day I strongly felt the urge to forgive my father. I did it deep in my heart, but that wasn’t enough. So I talked to Nat about it, and together we went to find him. We found him and even thought I was shaking, I was able to make peace with him, also on behalf of the others in my family. I will never forget the feeling of serenity and freedom experienced on that occasion.
(N.M.A. – Philippines)
I live in a neighbourhood of houses separated from each other only by a wall on which we usually hang out our clothes to dry. One day, realizing that my neighbour’s laundry was already dry, I asked her son to remove it because I had to clothes to dry too. They took offence and started cursing. There were two plants on that wall that I had grown with great care. In the evening I heard a thud. When I went to see what was happening, I realized that my neighbours were dropping the second vase. Inside I felt myself seething with indignation, but the words about the land belonging to the meek came to me so I said to myself: “It doesn’t matter”. When my mother-in-law saw that I was not reacting, she said to me: “Give me the cane, I’m going to teach them a lesson”. I had to persuade her to be patient too. The situation remained tense for some time. Then one day, to our surprise, the neighbour knocked on our door. There was no water in her house and she asked if she could do her washing in our house. It was an opportunity to reconnect and in welcoming it, I realized how much she had changed.
(R. – Pakistan)
Edited by Maria Grazia Berretta
(taken from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, year VIII, n.2, May-June 2022)