Barasoain Weekly Reflection for 19 – 25 June 2016
‘“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”
I was watching a documentary from ESPN entitled “The 16th Man.” It is about the 1995 Rugby World Cup wherein South Africa won against New Zealand in the final match held in Johannesburg that year. The comeback of South Africa as a formidable name in rugby world is more than just about the winning but it also united the nation so long divided by racism.
Black South Africans long faced the oppression during apartheid until it was dismantled in the early 1990’s. But under Nelson Mandela, the country started healing the wounds made by the past not only by instituting democracy, but also reaching out to his former enemies.
This event showed that despite the walls created by divisions in our society, we can still create bridges to reach out to others even to those who have oppressed us. We can find similar stories in Bible, especially in the case of St. Paul. As Saul, he dedicated himself to the persecution of the Christians. Many have died in his brutal march to eradicate the church but despite all of this, Jesus Christ appeared to him and he was baptized. He turned from a persecutor to an apostle.
The lessons of Paul and South Africa tell us that we have to treat each other, including our enemies, with respect and love. Who knows? Your enemy may become your closest friend.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. – Mohandas Gandhi