Rebuild broken bonds

St. Paul gives us the example of knowing how to forget, of knowing how to mend broken ties, of the capacity for friendship. For his part, St. Mark is for us a magnificent example of humility and hope. The event that led to the separation of Paul and Barnabas, in which he was the cause of the quarrel, must have made a deep impression on the Evangelist and caused him great pain. He must have felt in the depths of his soul to see himself rejected by Paul, with his great and well-earned prestige as a tireless evangelizer, of wisdom, of holiness. However, he also knew how to forget, and when he was needed, he was there, comforting Paul and being very useful for his ministry.

St. Mark knew how to forget and to excuse because he had a great soul, and for this reason he was an extraordinary instrument of grace. "What a narrow soul is that of those who jealously guard their "list of grievances"..... It is impossible to live with such wretches.

"True charity, just as it does not keep an account of the "constant and necessary" services it renders, neither does it note, "omnia suffert" - bears all - the rebuffs it suffers."

If we are not humble, we will tend to fabricate our list of small grievances which, even if they are small, will rob us of our peace with God, we will lose much energy and we will become incapacitated for the great projects that the Lord has prepared every day for those who remain united to Him. The humble person has his heart set on God, and thus is filled with joy and becomes somehow less vulnerable; he does not care so much about what they may have said, or what they may have wanted to say; he immediately forgets and does not give too much thought to the humiliations that every man and every woman experiences in one way or another in the events of ordinary life.

This simplicity, this humility, this not getting entangled in "points of honor" that pride raises, this putting aside possible grievances, give a person a great capacity to start again after a cowardice or a defeat. St. Mark, after his cowardice or weariness on the first journey, we see him immediately back on the task with Barnabas, ready to be faithful without conditions.

He who is humble easily feels that he is a brother to others; for this reason he seeks daily to communicate with those with whom he is in contact, to restore friendships if for any reason they have broken down or cooled off, and he is always ready to offer fraternal help and also to be helped. In this way the necessary relationships of all coexistence are built every day. "Those who are close to one another support one another, and thanks to them the edifice of charity arises (...). If I, then, do not make the effort to bear with your character, and if you do not take care to bear with mine, how can the edifice of charity be built up between us if mutual love does not unite us in patience? In a building, as we have already said, every stone supports and is supported."