Reflection of the Week - 12th September 2023

By Archbishop Desmond Tutu & Mpho Tutu

Posted in Faith

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1931-2021) and his daughter Mpho Tutu invite us to recognise the ways that we have hurt others, and to seek forgiveness in an effort to restore justice and relationships.

From whom do you need forgiveness? What have you done? Have you hurt someone you love? Does the guilt or shame gnaw at you? Have you caused pain and anguish? Are you trapped in the wreckage of your actions with no visible means of escape?

The simply truth is we all make mistakes, and we all need forgiveness. There is no magic wand we can wave to go back in time and change what has happened or undo the harm that has been done, but we can do everything in our power to set right what has been made wrong. We can endeavour to make sure the harm never happens again.

We all need forgiveness. There are times when all of us have been thoughtless or selfish or cruel. As we have said earlier, no act is unforgiveable; no person is beyond redemption. Yet, it is not easy to admit one’s wrong-doing and ask for forgiveness. ‘I am sorry’ are perhaps the three hardest words to say.

We can come up with all manner of justifications to excuse what we have done. When we are willing to let down our defences and look honestly at our actions, we find there is a great freedom in asking for forgiveness and great strength in admitting the wrong. It is how we free ourselves from our past errors. It is how we are able to move forward into our future, unfettered by the mistakes we have made.


Desmond M Tutu and Mpho A Tutu, (2015) ‘The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World,’ ed. Douglas C. Abrams (San Francisco, CA: Harper One, p.167.


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