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Embodying Forgiveness and Being Forgiven

When we go to the poor embodying the proclamation that, yes, they are forgiven, they are embraced they are beloved by God — even now, already, at this very moment — then perhaps they will find it in their hearts to forgive us for our apathy and for all that we have taken from them.
The problem is that we have been inclined to view ourselves as the forgiven — instead of as those in need of forgiveness — and we have made God's free offer of forgiveness conditional. Instead of proclaiming, “God has forgiven you!” we have said, “God will forgive you if…”. Instead of saying, “Please, forgive us!” we have said, “Clean up your act and we'll put up with you on Sundays.” And in this way we go from being lights to the world to being fires that burn ourselves and those around us.
Lord, forgive us, and help us to know that we cannot ask for forgiveness from a crucified Lord without seeking forgiveness from the crucified people of today.

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