Excerpt from Forgiveness Workshop, West Indies
Talk given by M. Nadine

 

“I pray that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they may be one in Us.” (cf. Jn 17:21)

 This is the prayer from the Heart of Jesus Himself. He is such a Lover. So it is Love that always brings us this union and togetherness. God loves us to be together. We talk about Church, community, and family and being together in mind, heart and spirit. It is being together as one in the tremendous Love of the Holy Spirit.

But there’s always an exception somewhere. The major block that will divide love is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness will divide me from God, it will divide me from others, and it will even cause division within myself.

Jesus put a lot of emphasis on forgiveness and inner healing. On Easter night He began in a very special way when He walked right through those closed doors. Many times when we’re in that posture of unforgiveness, we have closed hearts. Our hearts are closed because they’re angry or have been hurt or have experienced rejection or have been victimized in some way. Jesus can walk right through closed hearts, just like He walked through those closed doors on Easter night.

But to forgive is not human. It’s not natural. It’s supernatural. It’s above our power, and maybe this is why in the Old Testament it says, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” (Lv 24:20; Ex 21:24). They didn’t have to turn the other cheek and forgive. Isn’t that interesting? But now there’s a New Testament, a New Commandment, a new word from God saying, “You must forgive as I forgive you” (see Mt 6:14-15). In other words, “You must forgive without conditions. You have to learn to let things go.” So after Jesus rises from the dead, He goes into that Upper Room, right through those locked doors, His very presence there, and He says, “Peace to you” (Lk 24:36). We need God’s peace to forgive. We need to come into that Presence of Jesus. We need to call upon Jesus to come and help us.

“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” (Jn 13:34)