When Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive somebody who sins against him, he receives a reply which would have sounded as outrageously generous then as it does now.
- On the front cover of a journal on spirituality and health there was a picture of three United States ex-servicemen standing in front of the Vietnam memorial in Washington DC. One asks, 'Have you forgiven those who held you prisoner of war?’ ‘ I will never forgive them,' replies the other. The third then comments, 'Then it seems that they still have you in prison, don't they?’
- Often, the notion of Jesus’ being a victim is confused with that of his being a scapegoat, though the two are close. This period of the year, when Christians are turning their minds towards Good Friday and Easter, is an appropriate time to consider this issue.
- At a time when society regards victimhood as a virtue, it is important to remember that Jesus Christ was never a victim – at least not in the way victimhood is understood in the twenty-first century. Yet throughout the centuries the image of Jesus Christ as victim has dominated song, art and architecture.
- At the beginning of Desmond Tutu’s book No Future without Forgiveness, which narrates his experiences of chairing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, are the words, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'
- The most powerful movement for reconciliation comes from within and is motivated by love. The Israeli organization Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) shows that it is possible to work for reconciliation from within, without rejecting the body that needs reconciling.
- What do we mean by reconciliation? Is there not a danger that it is defined differently every time it is used? At its simplest, reconciliation refers to the desire to repair fractured relationships in order to move forwards, but, as we shall see, reconciliation is complex and, as the cross testifies, true reconciliation is costly.
- The human soul cries out for reconciliation. This God-given cry starts within and reverberates around all of creation. We constantly pray that warring factions within Iraq, Israel/Palestine and Afghanistan may find some form of reconciliation so that the people of those troubled areas may live and move forward in climates of peace and justice.