Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs
An excerpt from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry’s sermon on May 23 in Port-au-Prince that marked the signing of a covenant of reconciliation:
It was on the cross, as he was dying, that our Lord Jesus forgave even those who had tortured and crucified him. “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” Our beloved brother, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, has shown us that Jesus teaches us from the cross that forgiveness is the way to a new future. He says that without forgiveness there is no future.
Mutual forgiveness and repentance, healing, and reconciliation are hard work and they often take time. Healing and reconciliation do not happen quickly. But it happens, if we are willing, to allow God’s grace to work in us, for God’s grace is sufficient. God is able.
And through this covenant, we — Bishop Duracin, Bishop Beauvoir, the Standing Committee, the Reverend Clergy, and I, as your Presiding Bishop — all of us together, we take this step in which we each repent for any way we have hurt each other, we take a step toward mutual forgiveness, a step toward God’s healing, a step toward reconciliation through the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. This I commit to do, and I pray and believe you join me in that.
Now we are not perfect. We will make mistakes along the way. But if we press on, following this way of Jesus, walking together, upholding each other, we will make it because God’s power, working in us can do more than we can ask or imagine. And this world needs our witness. People need to know the power of God to heal, to forgive, to reconcile and rebuild. People need to know the power of our faith as we press on toward the Kingdom of God.
As St. Paul said in Philippians, “Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).