Loving your neighbor

Do we know how to forgive?

If someone would give us a slap, could we forgive him? Could we, the young ones, be able to turn the other cheek? If someone would curse us, could we bless him after? If a friend would betray us, could we forgive him? Those are many questions that are hard to answer. Here is what St. John Chrysostom says:

“Think of all your mistakes you have to give an answer, but more important, to forget the injustice committed by others to you, forgive those who offended you, in order to have the right yourself to be forgiven – to earn, this way, a relief of your troubles.”

Greeks, without big expectations, often gave regarding of those, evidences of wisdom. And you, who must eventually leave this world, with such greater expectations, won’t you do it, or remain in hesitation?

What solves itself, don’t assign and respect the divine law – and, rather, let your passion be eradicated without a reword, instead to deserve a reword?

If the ages will erase envy, you can’t pull any avail. Would you say that remembering an affront will provoke the anger? Remember all the good made for you, by that who affronted you, and all the bad that you made for others.

Did he speak evil about you, did he cover you in shame? Remember what you have said to others. So I ask, how will you receive forgiveness if you don’t give it to others?  Did not you say anything bad? But you heard so many times, lots of gossip and you accepted them, and this is, of course, guilt.

Do you want to know how well is to forget the insults, and how pleasant is this to God, above all? He punishes even those who enjoy his rightful punishment. So, it doesn’t serve right to disregard those punished by God, nor the one who offended us!…

The spirit of mercy is shown here, the thing that pleases God most. Nothing feeds compassion better than forgiveness.

For the one who offended, God also showed him what needs to be done. He commanded to immediately search for the one being offended, to even leave the altar to find him and to return to the offering table only after he reconciled with him.

But that’s not a reason to expect him to come, because of doing so, you’ve lost everything. Only if you go out to meet him, God will give you an untold reward.

If you reconcile with the one who offended you, only because he comes towards you, not the divine command is the one who has settled, but only the other’s gesture. So, you remain without a garland.”


Translated by Ioniţă Radu



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