Today's Mass readings are about forgiveness. Nothing blocks God's grace more than a stubborn refusal to forgive someone. It's not a matter of feelings, but of the will.
Today an incident that happened to me about twenty years ago suddenly popped into my mind. I had forgotten all about it, and I have no idea why it came back to me today. I was driving on the interstate with another sister, and we stopped at a fast-food place to get something to eat. An older man was at the counter taking orders, and when he saw us (wearing our habits, of course) he made some insulting remarks to us because we were Catholic nuns.
I chose to ignore the remarks, got our food and left. (Today I would be a little more gutsy and tell him that we're paying customers, and if he harasses us on the basis of our religion, that's discrimination and it's against the law. Remember the Denny's case?)
Anyway, when I thought about this today, I started to feel angry and I realized that I need to forgive that guy. At the time I just forgot about it because it wasn't a big deal, or so it seemed. But there's something inside me that doesn't like to be insulted and I was surprised today when I realized that this anger was coming up.So I prayed for the grace to be able to forgive him, and I prayed for him. Maybe he's in bad circumstances right now, perhaps he's sick or dying, and needs help.
Our minds and hearts are so amazing--we never really forget anything, even if an event drops out of our conscious awareness. All the events of our life are hidden in our hearts and can be dredged up at any time. It's only the blood of Jesus Christ that brings healing, forgiveness and peace to all. C.S. Lewis once wrote that we have this saying "Time heals all wounds." But time doesn't heal us, he said, since we never forget unless we forgive. And we can only forgive through the grace of Christ.