“I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22).
It is not easy to live this word of Jesus. In fact, in many cases, it would be impossible without the help of God (Mt 19:26)! But what happens when this word is not lived? This is what we see before our eyes everyday. There are nations in the state of latent conflict, as in the Middle East, where terrorism is the reply to a situation seen as offensive and oppression, and reprisal is the reply to terrorism. There is still applied to the letter “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. This is the political wisdom of men. They do not realize that this way of doing things, as St. Paul tells us, is folly (1Cor 3:19). It does not resolve anything, it does not break the chain of evil, but perpetuates it and aggravates it. Revenge produces revenge, and so it will be, unfortunately, until the end of the world. This is the reality, but we have understood that this is not the Gospel with its invitation to forgiveness for those who have gone wrong, but it is “the reality”. But let us not let ourselves be upset by the disparity between the ideal and the reality, but let us continue to commit ourselves to striving to bring forth the Gospel, beginning with ourselves. Who, when finding himself in his living place, does not have at once a few pardons in suspense to courageously offer?
- - - - - - -
An Experience of Life:
Young Jerry, a small black boy from Washington, had already learned to live these words of Jesus. He was put in a special class at school because of his high I.Q. All the other children were white. But his intelligence was not enough to make his classmates understand that he was their equal. They didn't like him because he was black, and when Christmas came and they all exchanged presents, they left him out. He was upset, as you can imagine. But when he got home he thought about Jesus: “Forgive… Love your enemies”, and with his mother's permission he went out and bought gifts which he gave with love to all his “white brothers and sisters”.