from the Companion Directors Team
“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
As we continue to walk with Jesus through Lent, we cannot help but notice the recurring theme of forgiveness in Scripture. The familiar parables of the Prodigal Son, the Lost Sheep, and the Lost Coin depict God as an all-loving father who is so quick to forgive that he pulls out all the stops to celebrate when a repentant sinner returns to him. Other passages may come to mind that challenge human nature and stop us in our tracks in self-reflection: “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you” (Mt 7:2) or “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mt 6:14).
Don’t our true selves shine through when we are suddenly forced into crisis mode? When the going gets tough, doesn’t our reaction say a lot about who we really are? True colors shine through when vulnerabilities are tested. Jesus not only preached words of forgiveness and compassion, but when his vulnerabilities were tested to the hilt he prayed: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:24). Wow! This takes forgiveness to the ultimate level – to a height that we may wonder if we are actually capable of achieving.
The road to forgiveness may not be a smooth path. Sometimes the hurt is so deep that it is difficult to let it go. Sometimes our pride will not allow us to take this step even when we sense that it will set us free. As I was reading Fr. Joe Nassal’s book, Faith Walkers, a comment popped out at me: “The important thing is not that we are able to forgive as Jesus forgave. The important thing is that we keep on trying.” We are imperfect people doing the best we can. If we ask God for help in forgiving another, he will shower us with the grace we need that will smooth the rough terrain making our destination achievable. We probably won’t do it with the style that Jesus did, but with him by our side, we may be able to let go of more than we think.