Each of us knows that letting go and forgiving does not mean that nothing has happened. Too much has happened to each and everyone one of us. We do not deserve the bad deals and short ends we have received. And forgiveness does not happen all at once or once and for all. It takes time and needs to be redone, rehearsed and repeated.-seventy time seven times.
But we have Christ Jesus as exemplar and dear companion. With him we can understand that forgiveness is worth the joy and love and freedom, the unburdening, the opportunity that it brings. With him, through his grace we can choose to love and forgive. Indeed forgiveness takes time. It may begin with a desire to forgive, or even a desire to desire to forgive. And our willingness to let go of lesser goods brings with it a sobering realization that we must lose something, some things to gain everything, but we can rejoice because this everything is a Person, who is worth it. He our pearl, our one treasure is worth all we can risk and surrender. For he is the one who proclaims and enfleshes God’s love, compassion and forgiveness. He has forgiven and freed me. Finding the treasure and selling all means I try to do likewise out of love for him. And what is more delightful than this knowledge that nothing, nothing whatever can separate us from the love of God that comes to us in Christ Jesus our Lord?
Finally there is most beautiful secret: Jesus gives us himself, God’s own self each day in the Holy Eucharist. Love himself descends into the darkness of our flesh: as first into the dark mystery of Mary’s virginity, so now each morning into the dark warmth of our hearts; there to be dissolved in love into our very selves in this Eucharist. In this great mystery of his outpouring, his lavish self-gift, Jesus finds himself to be most himself as he gives himself away to us, finding in our humanity, in our flesh his treasure. When we come to know ourselves as loved so much, we must go and do likewise.
Photographs by Brother Brian.