- Fr. Howard Thompson
There are many hurdles of hurt and pain that we must jump over in order to get to the finish line. Whether in our recent history or contemporary experience, the atrocities of war and genocide; systematic slavery and the evil of racism; segregation and intolerance; the sad injustice of economic sanctions and dependency, are but some of the ‘darkness’ that many countries continue to fight. In our personal lives, the suffering that surfaces from malicious gossip, ‘crusades’ against another person, an indifferent attitude or rejection of another, are just a few examples of the grief and anger with which one struggles. How do we prevent ourselves from being trapped in a prison of pain? We cannot control how people behave and choose to live. We know that each individual is operating from a different psychological, spiritual and emotional state of mind. Age does not always reveal maturity, wisdom or grace. Since every individual struggles with weakness and can never prevent hurt given or received, then the solution to moving ahead is to forgive. Jesus knows the only way to live in freedom is to forgive infinitely (Mt. 18:21-22). God sets us free when He forgives us. We liberate ourselves when we choose to forgive. Lord Jesus, help us to forgive as we are forgiven. When we are tempted not to forgive, may we fix our eyes on Your crucifixion, the price paid for our salvation, so that we will find the motive to love as You command, and forgive without limits. Amen.