“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”? It is often so subtle, I don’t even think about it. I can be “holding” a quiet 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 do for them, (so I do this something begrudgingly); I might be carrying a memory of some disturbing comment someone made online, perhaps against me personally, and turning it around and around in my mind; or I might feel burdened and discouraged by my own words or actions on some recent occasion.
These "small" grudges do create an obstacle, the Lord reminds me today, to my communion with Him. He wants me to let all this 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, likewise to 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. I let a bit of heaven into my day, as I take note of any small or large grudges I might be carrying around, and let them be forgiven, “on earth as it is in heaven.”