As I prepared to lector the Saturday vigil mass last night, I pondered unfinished business in my own life. Over the last couple of years, I've honed my task to get good with God to a fine point. Yet I wondered, have I done EVERYTHING I need to do?
The first reading, from the Book of Sirach, gave me my answer. I felt color creeping up my cheeks as I read:
Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD's vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor's injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High's covenant, and overlook faults.
By and large, I have forgiven my enemies. But this, and the gospel, plus an outstanding homily from a visiting priest brought home something that I have been avoiding, and now is the time to put one last piece of business to rest.
It's human nature to hold grudges, but in the business of becoming more like God, you have to aspire to be better than human nature. You have to be bigger than whatever slight or injury was done you. Because in the end, these little things snowball--for better or worse. This energy becomes positive or negative--it's your choice which way it's going to go. (Or, as G would have it, blue core or red core).
And a conversation with two of my former grade school grads I met with last night confirmed to me: you must lead by example.
So, with that, I just want to openly say to Amy and Sharon that I forgive you. I let these things go, because things of this earth in many ways matter not.
Wishing love and mercy to all my friends.