Friends, our Gospel today focuses on the gift of forgiveness. This is such an anchor of the New Testament and so central to Jesus’ ministry and preaching. When it comes to the offenses that we have received from others, we are, all of us, great avatars of justice. We will remember every insult, every snub, and every shortcoming when it comes to our being hurt by others. That’s why forgiving even once or twice is so difficult.

Forgiving seven times, as Peter suggests, is beyond the pale. Yet Jesus says to him, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” In other words, forgive constantly, relentlessly, and without calculation. Your whole life must become an act of forgiveness.

And this is why Jesus tells the parable in today’s Gospel. The man who had been forgiven so much should, at the very least, show forgiveness to the one who owed him so much less.

Here is the spiritual heart of the matter: whatever anyone owes you (in strict justice) is infinitely less than what God has graciously given to you; the divine forgiveness of you is infinitely greater than any forgiveness you might be called upon to offer.

Becoming an instrument of God’s life, grace, forgiveness, and peace is what it is all about. Allow to flow through you what has been poured into you—that is the whole story.

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