For two weeks in a row, the Sunday Gospel readings have been centred around the theme of forgiveness — a topic which may seem straightforward, until we really begin to think of the breadth of sins that we humans inflict upon each other. For example, forgiving someone for cutting us off in traffic is a great deal different than forgiving someone who has abused or seriously harmed us.
Forgiveness can be complicated, and it is not synonymous with allowing ourselves to continue to be harmed by someone. God never wants us to suffer — whether due to harm from another person, or from carrying the burdens of resentment and anger, which can weigh so heavily upon our souls.
There is a saying, “Carrying a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting it to kill the other person.” Forgiveness can indeed go a long way towards mending an otherwise healthy relationship, but if the relationship needs to be severed for our well-being, then forgiveness can be an important step in our own healing, when we – with God’s help – are ready to take it.
Ultimately, it is always God who searches us and knows us; who invites us to draw near and learn how to forgive, even if it seems impossible right now.
May we walk gently with one another and with ourselves, knowing ourselves forgiven and beloved by God.