Sunday Readings: Sirach 27.30-28.7; Romans 14.7-9; Matthew 18.21-35
Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” – Matthew 18.21
We know Jesus’ answer to Peter’s question. Seventy times seven times. That’s always. In the Our Father we ask God to forgive us as we forgive others every time we pray it–scary. Forgiveness may not be our first impulse when someone hurts us. We may want to strike back or perhaps just nurse festering resentment, or perhaps like Peter we want to count. This is not God’s way or Jesus’ way.
The parable that follows Peter’s question and Jesus’ answer is about the servant who owes his master a big debt that a generous master forgives. Then the forgiven servant insists a fellow servant pay a debt of 100 denarii, refuses pleas for patience, and puts the fellow servant in prison. The master finds out and hands the unforgiving servant over to be tortured. The parable challenges us to recognize God’s expansive love and mercy and make room for growth and grace in our relationships.
How has making room for grace and growth helped you forgive others or yourself?