Spirit by whom we live can make “ours” the same mind that was
in Christ Jesus.
Then the unity of forgiveness becomes possible
and we find ourselves “forgiving one another,
God in Christ
Thus the Lord’s words on forgiveness, the love that loves
to the end,
become a living reality. The parable of the merciless
servant, which crowns the Lord’s teaching on ecclesial commun
ion, ends with these words: “So also my heavenly Father will do
to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your
It is there, in fact, “in the depths of the
everything is bound and loosed. It is not in our power not to feel
or to forget an offense; but the heart that offers itself to the Holy
Spirit turns injury into compassion and purifies the memory in
transforming the hurt into intercession.
Christian prayer extends to the
forgiveness of enemies,
transfiguring the disciple by configuring him to his Master. For
giveness is a high-point of Christian prayer; only hearts attuned to
God’s compassion can receive the gift of prayer. Forgiveness also
bears witness that, in our world, love is stronger than sin. The mar
tyrs of yesterday and today bear this witness to Jesus. Forgiveness
is the fundamental condition of the reconciliation of the children
of God with their Father and of men with one another.
There is no limit or measure to this essentially divine
whether one speaks of “sins” as in
“debts” as in
(6:12). We are always debtors: “Owe no one
anything, except to love one another.”
The communion of the
Holy Trinity is the source and criterion of truth in every relation
ship. It is lived out in prayer, above all in the Eucharist.
God does not accept the sacrifice of a sower of disunion, but
commands that he depart from the altar so that he may first
be reconciledwith his brother. For God can be appeased only
by prayers that make peace. To God, the better offering is
peace, brotherly concord, and a peoplemade one in the unity
of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
5:18-21; John Paul II,
149 St. Cyprian,
De Dom. orat.
23: PL 4, 535-536; cf.