By Elise Harris

.- During an ecumenical Vespers service on Wednesday, Pope Francis told both Catholics and members of other Christian communities that unity can only happen when past grievances are forgiven and all sides walk forward with their gaze on Christ.

“How do we proclaim this Gospel of reconciliation after centuries of division? Paul himself helps us to find the way. He makes clear that reconciliation in Christ requires sacrifice,” the Pope said Jan. 25.

Referring to the Gospel of Luke, he said that willingness to “lose our lives” in order to save them, out of love for God, as St. Paul experienced personally, “is, and always has been, the Christian revolution.”

“If we experience this dying to ourselves for Jesus’ sake, our old way of life will be a thing of the past and, like Saint Paul, we will pass over to a new form of life and fellowship,” Francis said, explaining that looking back is helpful and even necessary in order “to purify our memory.”

However, the danger comes with the temptation “to be fixated on the past, lingering over the memory of wrongs done and endured, and judging in merely human terms,” he said, adding that doing this “can paralyze us and prevent us from living in the present.” CONTINUE READING