Community is not possible without the willingness to forgive one another “seventy-seven times” (see Matthew 18:22). Forgiveness is the cement of community life. Forgiveness holds us together through good and bad times, and it allows us to grow in mutual love.
But what is there to forgive or to ask forgiveness for? As people who have hearts that long for perfect love, we have to forgive one another for not being able to give or receive that perfect love in our everyday lives. Our many needs constantly interfere with our desire to be there for the other unconditionally. Our love is always limited by spoken or unspoken conditions. What needs to be forgiven? We need to forgive one another for not being God!
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." - Colossians 3: 13, 15
Henri says forgiveness takes practice. Imagine if both communities and each of us practiced forgiveness. What could that look like?