Jesus said, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5: 23-24)
The first duty before approaching God is to reconcile with people with whom anything harsh was shown. It is the spirit of friendship and amicability that should take one to the altar of God. There should never be any stain of hatred or enmity.
Relationships are like fine porcelain
Friendships and relationships are a lot like fine porcelain. They are a real treasure which can easily be broken but difficult to mend after some time. It is to be maintained and cared like a delicate plant.
We find it very painful when we experience a friend’s betrayal or rejection. It is the most difficult thing a person can endure. That is why he finds it hard to forgive others. The friction hurts and makes things more hardened. In fact, this difficulty to forgive or failure to forgive harms both persons—the one who is hurt and the one who causes it. If left alone, these wounds have a tendency to fester and grow larger and larger.
Why Jesus insists forgiving others
Jesus came to liberate man from all his fetters that cause damage to the body, mind and soul of the individuals as well as societies. He knows well how much damage unforgiveness can cause. That is why he commanded us to forgive. Yet at the same time, he does not underestimate how difficult it is to forgive others. Jesus himself experienced betrayal of a close friend. Just imagine how he much would have wept over his friend Judas. Still, Jesus urges or rather commands us to forgive, to be reconciled and to let go of past feelings of hurt. He goes further to sat that the degree to forgive others is to know his Father’s forgiveness. “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”(Matthew 18:35)
Forgiveness possible with Jesus
Forgiving others may seem to be too demanding and difficult. But with the sight of Jesus and his mercy towards us it becomes easy and possible. His storehouse of love can make up our lacking. He can help us when our hearts are hard and bitter.
Jesus knows our difficulty in forgiving He is not as concerned with whether we have completely forgiven all as he is concerned that we keep our hearts soft and ask him for the grace to be a bit more merciful each day. It is the first step that we take he is more concerned.
It is spring. Green blades of grass and soft breeze of the season are assuring us the mercy and grace of God. Come; let us take the first step of forgiveness!
Indeed big brother, it is the Spirit of forgiveness we need most of all!
So yes let us all cultivate from His Spirit the Good Fruits which birth our Salvation right within our hearts - for loving truthfully is Eternal Life as Jesus has shown.
As The Word points out - God's Love demands total forgiveness before pure and holy communion can take place once more!
How True is He?
That we may all Eat from His righteous flesh and drink from His life-blood!