These words are the hardest in the Our Father to live out. Our worship and love of God, if it does not involve forgiveness, comes to nothing. Forgiveness is the very thing Jesus does for us on the cross, and he hands this gift on to us in the work of the Holy Spirit he has given to his Church.
Forgiveness involves a readiness not to live in the past, but to be open to the future. This means trusting that we can have a future, even when hatred, violence and evil have destroyed human relationships with each other and their relationship with God.
Jesus preaches the Kingdom of God, the urgent call to have a new heart, and to start again. He calls us to set our hearts not on what we have been, but to what we can become through his grace.
Forgiveness is a costly gift. Jesus gives us his very life on the cross to restore us to God’s friendship and to heal the wounds our sins have left upon our hearts. Forgiveness is never easy. We have to learn slowly to receive this gift, to be repentant sinners, so that we can be a source of forgiveness in our world.