Unconditional love and forgiveness: diversity is wealth
Tehar Ben Jelloun, Maroccan poet and essayist, in his book "Le racisme expliqué à ma fille" describes diversity as a source of wealth. This is what diversity is. If we think about what it is not or what it must not be, surely we have to emphasise the fact that it should not be an obstacle for unconditional love and forgiveness. Very often, when our neighbour is different, we use to close ourselves in, we use to refuse to understand him/her, excluding the advantages we can get from loving or forgiving him/her. This is one of the biggest temptations that can distance ourselves from Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Love and forgiveness are the two key words for the life of every servant of God. The importance of love and its whole effects on our everyday life are perfectly described by Saint Augustine, a real cultist of love: " “If you keep silent, keep silent by love: if you speak, speak by love; if you correct, correct by love; if you pardon, pardon by love; let love be rooted in you, and from the root nothing but good can grow. Love and do what you will. Love endures in adversity, is moderate in prosperity; brave under harsh sufferings, cheerful in good works; utterly reliable in temptation, utterly open-handed in hospitality; as happy as can be among true brothers and sisters, as patient as you can get among the false one's. The soul of the scriptures, the force of prophecy, the saving power of the sacraments, the fruit of faith, the wealth of the poor, the life of the dying. Love is all".
The Gospel of Matthew teaches us the importance of forgiveness: "for if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours". (Matthew 6,12,14). Hence, forgiveness becomes an act of mercy not only for those who receive it, but also for who forgives. The person who forgives, in fact, will have God's mercy and God's forgiveness.
Talking about love and forgiveness could be easy enough. Very often, "practicing" love and forgiveness is difficult. And it becomes even more difficult if we have to love or forgive someone who is different from us - from a religious or cultural point of view – or someone who has hurt us or our beloved. However, is the ability to love and forgive unconditionally which distinguishes God's servant from all other man. Pope Francis' speech in front of the families of the victims of the Nice terrorist attack (14 July 2016) is inspiring from this point of view: "When the temptation to turn inwards on oneself, or to respond to hatred with hatred and to violence with violence, is great, authentic conversion of the heart is needed. You can respond to the assaults of the devil only with the works of God, which are forgiveness, love and respect for one's neighbors, even if they are different".
Let's convert our heart to unconditional love and forgiveness, powerful weapons against hate and violence, which threatens every day the wealth of diversity and of the Christian value of universal brotherhood.