And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
…For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
(Matthew 6.12 and 14-15, RSV)
This past Sunday was Forgiveness Sunday, where partakers ask forgiveness from God and from each other. Our world is torn apart due to exile and alienation; we are foreigners to God and to each other. Even in communities where there is love and familiarity, there is still conflict and broken relationships. The role of forgiveness seems to be obvious at this point: To mend these relationships. But is there more to forgiveness? I cannot word it better than Fr. Alexander Schmemann:
The rite of forgiveness is so important precisely because it makes us realize – be it only for one minute – that our entire relationship to other men is wrong, makes us experience that encounter of one child of God with another, of one person created by God with another, makes us feel that mutual ‘recognition’ which is so terribly lacking in our cold and dehumanized world. 
Creation and Theosis