The Forgiveness of Father Marco
For Father Marco, being a priest means being able to serve the privileged ones of the Gospel, society’s marginalised. It’s a choice that comes with a price. ...
‘Serving Jesus in my brothers and sisters, both as a Christian and as a priest is, for me, one of the most beautiful things in my life. Often this brother or sister is someone who has been excluded from society and is passing by me. One day the mayor of the town where I live asked me to take care of some families who were involved in crime, but who, it seemed, wanted to change their way of life. We found them somewhere to live and some jobs. We helped them to be integrated into the community, but none of them ever seized these opportunities. Because of the rules they were promptly rejected, the parents continued to rob at night and didn’t send their children to school during the day. I felt implicit in their failure and growing degradation.
However, the situation got even worse when the families accused me of burglary, theft, and violence toward a pregnant woman no less. I was really in trouble, surrounded by people who now judged me and looked at me with scorn and derision. ‘Why?’ I wondered, ‘Why all this?’ After all, I was moved to do this by God who is present in the least, the forlorn, the lonely and even in criminals.
Sharing this suffering with other priests who live the spirituality of communion with me, I found the strength to once again believe in the love of God for me, even in this situation.
There and then I decided to forgive those who hurt me, but also to fight for the triumph of justice. One night I asked some of the closer members of the parish to pray for me. I went to the house of my accusers to meet them face to face and, eventually, they withdrew all the allegations. It was already the middle of the night, but I passed by the homes of my parishioners just the same and I found them still on their knees praying. And the entire Gospel appeared to me as clear truth, which, in its own time, bears fruit.