What do you do if you can’t forgive someone or someone refuses to forgive you or accept an apology? These experiences are painful and, unfortunately, a part of everyone’s family or circle of relationships. Things happen that cause feelings to be hurt, and sometimes the hurt can run very deep. Just think of betrayal of basic trust, infidelity, dishonesty; these horrible realities can make Reconciliation nearly impossible.
Someone very close to me was killed, murdered, senselessly by an individual consumed with anger and aggression. Some individuals, a parent or sibling, simply can’t forgive the pain and tragedy this individual caused. The effects of one act of violence shattered people’s lives, including their relationship with God.
The words of Jesus in the gospel are searing: your holiness must surpass that of the Pharisees, you must reconcile with the person you are at odds with before bringing any gift to the altar and you must love your enemy. These words cut deeply through many a heart. How could they not??
Logically, it makes sense to let go of bitterness that can hurt one emotionally and psychologically; of course we need to let go so that we can live freely and not become immobilized. The human heart doesn’t always sync with logic and who is anyone to judge another’s inability to forgive and let go?
Maybe you can’t bring a gift to the altar but you can bring yourself, a gift of a broken heart, to the altar and receive the gift of the One who nust may free you. Come to the Eucharist, receive Christ, consume Him and just go where He leads you.