Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?”Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made.
So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt.
When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Is there no end to the forgiveness which the Lord expects of us? “Seventy-seven times!” A lifetime of forgiveness is what we are called to share with others, but truthfully, this is quite a small price to pay.
We recall that Jesus has offered us an eternal outflowing of grace – witnessed most perfectly in the moment of His crucifixion. Facing his tormentors, He looked down on them with love and said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24)
Though we may never find ourselves in a situation as desolate as one’s own crucifixion, we are aware of people in our lives who have caused us injury – whether it be physical, mental or spiritual – and they may be looking to us for forgiveness. And so we contemplate…”Who in our lives needs our forgiveness now? How can I reach out to this person and begin the process of healing?”
—Mr. Rob Chesire is the director of Music Ministry and teaches Choir at Creighton Prep.
Loving God, in the mercy you have shown us, may we find the strength to forgive our brothers and sisters and rebuild that which may have been broken. Open our hearts to your grace, and help us to become a community whose lives are centered on love and forgiveness. Amen.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!