But at any age, and in any circumstance, the need for apologies and forgiveness exists if we truly want to have healthy, healing relationships with each other and with God. This past weekend a younger relative and I had an argument on the phone. We both knew why it happened - overtiredness, stress, a need to vent. But both of us were hurt by each other's words. When Paul and I went to his house later that day, my relative came toward me as soon as I got out of the car, we embraced, and both of us said "I love you." We didn't need to say anything more. Apologies and forgiveness had happened.
Being honest with ourselves and each other about sinning is part of growing in discipleship, re-committing ourselves to following Jesus. During Jesus' ministry, the apostles had followed Him, but had never totally understood what discipleship was about. James and John had gone on a power trip, arguing about who'd sit next to Him when he came into His Kingdom. All of them except for John ran away during His Passion and Death, and most laughed at the women who told them "He is Risen!"
So the risen Jesus chose to call the disciples a second time by the sea of Galilee. Once again, He gave them a miraculous catch of fish to remind them they were to be fishers of men. Once again He cooked a meal for them, bread and fish, reminding them that thy were to serve one another and that they'd always find Him in the Eucharistic meal. And three times He asked Peter "Do you love me?" so that Peter could re-commit himself and atone for the three times he had denied even knowing Jesus. Then once again Jesus said "Follow me." (This story is in John 21.)
Sin is refusing to love. Whenever we are separated from someone else because of harsh words or selfish actions, even if the separation only lasts for an irritated minute, Jesus is there in our hearts, asking us "Do you love me? Really?" Because He lives in the one we've hurt. We've hurt Him as well. We need to atone for our sin. So He'll be asking us again, every day, for as many times as we hurt Him and each other "Do you really want to be My disciple and follow Me?"