“And whenever you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mk 11: 25)
What does it mean to “hold anything against anyone”? This is often more subtle than I care to acknowledge. I can “hold” a quiet, yet deep-seated resentment against someone, or a group of people, or even myself, without quite noticing this. For example, I might constantly perceive someone else as ungrateful for something I did or do for them; I might feel disturbed by something a close friend said about me and turn this around and around in my mind; I might feel burdened and discouraged by my own inconsiderate words or actions on the past day.
I might not give much serious thought to these "small" grudges, but they do create an obstacle, the Lord reminds me today, to my relationship with God. He wants me to “let it go,” so that I, in my prayers to Him, am on “the same page” with Him, Who is merciful and forgiving. He wants me to seek and rely on His mercy and forgiveness, but also to learn, through seeking this contact with Him, to likewise be merciful and forgiving. Because forgiveness of others and of myself tears down the obstacles between me and God’s grace. It brings me out of the dead-end of resentment and discouragement, and helps me to change and move forward, with His loving help.
Today I am gratefully reminded to “let it go,” whatever I might be “holding against” anyone, and hand it over to God’s mercy. Let me take note of these small or large grudges I might be carrying around, and let them be forgiven, “on earth as it is in heaven.”