Jesus is confronted by angry disbelieving people who were significant to him because they knew him and his family for a long time. Their gossiping had to hurt but Jesus’ response was not so much a defense as a forgiving invitation to lift their gaze to the Father who is merciful and who wants to heal and feed them.
The Ephesians reading has a similar theme. Focus less on the limitations of the significant people in our life and more on God who has loved us so much that he has handed his Son over for us.
When we focus on the Lord and not on our hurts, pains and disillusionments in life, he will give us the inner strength to forgive. He is inviting us to empty ourselves of bitterness, fury and anger, etc. so that we can be filled by his love. That process of forgiveness means we have to accept the reality of our pain, but also desire to let-go of all that is destroying our freedom and happiness. We learn to forgive not because someone deserves our forgiveness but because the Lord has forgiven us.
Then, we can be filled with the new life and give in our flesh what we have received from His in the Eucharist: forgiveness.
Fr. Joseph Jablonski, MSC