Dear Brother and Sister in Christ, my Friends
Today, we continue to meditate the meaning and depth of the Holy Mass, as we prepare to celebrate next year in September, National Eucharistic Pilgrimage & Congress in Liverpool. Last time we have looked at the Holy Mass as the place of reconciliation. Let us concentrate again on this aspect of the Holy Eucharist
Every love requires forgiveness:
Mutual forgiveness is an indispensable condition of every human love, because every human being, even having the best ‘good will’, remains a fragile being, and without the grace of God cannot do anything good. Often, passionate friends, lovers, fiancées, spouses do not perceive each other’s flaws, shortcomings and imperfections. This is only because the brightness of vision is obscured by strong selfish feelings. They are blind. But only for a time. When passionate feelings pass, eyes open. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we know our mutual poverty and nakedness as shame. Then from hiding and masking the weaknesses, we go to the opposite attitude: to expose, exaggerate, and proclaim to them all. Human weaknesses do not threaten love if we are in the truth and we are aware of them if we try to overcome them. When I see my own defects and weaknesses, I can no longer accuse and condemn my brothers and sisters for what I see in myself.
The Eucharist, the hour of truth, teaches us a realistic view of human life: our own and our loved ones. When we underestimate even the falsehood, Jesus reminds us: ‘Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?’ (Luke 6:41).
The Eucharist, Bread for sinners, reminds us that we are pilgrims on our way to the Father. Sincerity before God heals us from blindness and from impure hearts, which falsely demonize or angelise the human reality. God sees our handicaps and loves us as we are. And seeing the frailty of our brothers or sisters, we have to accept, accept and love as they really are. True love does not colour, does not fake, and does not lie.
In order to forgive our neighbour even the slightest weaknesses and sins, we must first perceive our own. Forgiving others requires a genuine look at ourselves. When we want to truly love our neighbour, we must be ready to acknowledge our weaknesses. Then we will be able to forgive them even 77 times 7. (cf. Matthew 18:22).
Lack of forgiveness and mutual repentance make all the misunderstandings, the great ones and the little ones, overlap and create profound resentment over time. There is an invisible and impenetrable wall between people. Dialogue is reduced to purely formal matters. The casual touch of painful, unresolved problems becomes the cause of conflict, followed by sometimes long so-called: ‘silent days’. The impenetrable wall and mutual remoteness, which have been growing for many years, are often the cause of misunderstanding and breakdown of marriage, family, friendship, community and every interpersonal relationship.
Truth of forgiveness and reconciliation.
We often have painful life situations that deepen in the heart and hurt as if ‘lasting’. And though we would like to forget them, toss them out of memory and heart, it seems impossible. How to forgive the humiliation that lasts for years? How to forgive selfishness, life in addictions, irresponsibility of spouse, parents, friend, whom we have trusted? How to forgive betrayal in friendship or love? If love was only based on human strength, it would be impossible. However, if love of marriage, parenthood, filial or friendship draws from its original source, which is the love of God, of the Eucharist, it is a miracle of forgiveness, even of the deepest wounds. It becomes possible.
The priest’s message before Holy Communion: ‘Let us offer each other the sign of peace’ is a concrete invitation to reach for reconciliation. This sign helps us to forgive the invisible walls that grow – sometimes beyond our consciousness – in fraternal, friendly and parental relationships.
Each act of forgiveness, which we offer each other, makes our love blossom anew. Forgiveness is a constant return to primordial love and fidelity to God. Love works in fidelity, and perfect in forgiveness. Errors and weaknesses, which we usually commit against our good will, do not have to degrade our love. On the contrary, they can become an opportunity to improve it through mutual forgiveness.
With love, friendship and prayers – Fr Marcin