Christians are to be forgiving and merciful; we are to live out the
unity Christ died to restore. In the early church, outsiders marveled
at the followers of Christ because of their love for one another.
Sadly, the unity that was the hallmark of the early Church
has been damaged, in some cases seemingly beyond repair. We
who are called to be “merciful” stand idly by while our brothers
and sisters in other parts of the world are offered up as scapegoats.
We who are to share the Good News huddle among our own,
contented to preach to the choir. The problem is this: Jesus died
for all, so that all might be saved. We who follow Our Lord must
live to accomplish his will.
As St. Peter points out, Jesus himself is our example. The
treatment that Jesus received on the cross was worse than most
of us can even imagine but his message of forgiveness did not
change. When Jesus rose from the dead, he did not declare a holy
war against those who had put him to death. Instead he proclaimed,
“Peace,” and sent his followers to the ends of the earth
to preach the gospel, teaching all to believe and trust in him.