January 13. Forgiveness.  Doreen thought, “I’m not sure what children are taught in catechism these days but I distinctly remember growing up with a belief that only God can forgive. It was much later on that I realised that we all have the power and even the duty to forgive others, as we say in the Our Father.   I can think of 2 examples.   Remember Oscar Pistorius and Janusz Walus.   Oscar shot and killed his girlfriend and is still serving a sentence but due for parole some time.  Reeva’s mother says she has forgiven him because she is a Christian and has to forgive. Janus shot Chris Hani, a political assassination.  Hani’s family, are Catholics, but were also aligned with communism.  They have refused to forgive him, still, 30 years later. For many years Janusz could not get parole because of that. I find that sad. Now he has finally been released but there is still a lot of anger about that.  I wonder if I could still be a catechist, or am I too old now, and have these modern views?”

Scripture. “Child, your sins are forgiven.   Now some scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts. “Is this blasphemy?  Who can forgive sins but God alone? Mark 2:1-12

Pope Francis:   Each of us should realise that even the harsh judgement I hold in my heart against my brother or my sister, the open wound that was never cured, the offense that was never forgiven, the rancour that is only going to hurt me, are all instances of a struggle that I carry within me, a little flame deep in my heart that needs to be extinguished before it turns into a great blaze.   FT243. Reflect, share, act, pray.