In one way or another, we all have hurt or wounded other people or have been
wounded by them by their words or actions. Most hurtful are the wounds we inflict or
receive from our loved ones, those whom we least expect will hurt us because by virtue
of our familial bond, they are supposed to love us, unconditionally. I often hear from the
sharing of those I have encountered in the parish, stories of betrayal and conflicts
between family members and they would often express how more difficult it is to forgive
family than strangers. My family is one of them. My father had a quarrel with his sister
even before I was born, and the misunderstanding went on for years reaching a point
where they put up a dividing wall in our living room just to physically separate them. It
was only until my father, undergoing dialysis for his renal failure, decided to end the row by swallowing his pride and asking forgiveness from his sister. That was truly a grace- filled day. The bitter grudges that lasted for more or less twenty years ended with these words, “I’m sorry.”
Our hurts from our family come from the expectation that only God can give
perfectly– unconditional love. We seek love from our family that will look beyond our
weaknesses, understand our imperfections and accept us regardless of our faults. And
when we do not receive the perfect love that we so unreasonably demand from them,
we complain or get hurt. Worse, we hurt them back. The Gospel reminds us to love like
God loves – unconditional. But in the event that we fail, and we will because of our
broken nature, seek forgiveness but be as quick to forgive others too, for they are
as imperfect as we are in loving, especially our family.
By Sem. Gerald Moscardon
THE GOSPEL TODAY
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”