The readings for the day focus on the real essence of Christianity – “Forgiveness”.
Forgiveness that goes beyond all boundaries and limits.
The first reading and the Gospel teach us today the wisdom of the ages.
The Psalmist invites us to worship the Lord, who forgives and heals according to His steadfast love and mercy.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus answers Peter’s question directly, “Seventy times seven”. Jesus is challenging Peter and the community at large to forgive limitlessly, being merciful to the extreme and not keep an account of the same.
Further, Jesus reiterates his point with the help of the parable of the two debtors. The King forgives the debt of the servant, who owes him ten thousand talents (a talent was more than fifteen years wages for a labourer). The same servant, who received abundant mercy, fails to forgive another servant, who owed him mere one hundred denarii (a denarius was the usual day’s wage for a labourer). The wicked servant is brought to justice by the King.
Jesus emphasizes the point that we need to exhibit forgiveness in the same measure that we have been forgiven. Forgiveness is not optional, it is sacramental. It forms a condition to the petition listed in the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father”. Jesus is well aware that lack of forgiveness may lead to broken communities and relationships. Nothing that we have to forgive can even faintly or remotely compare with what we have been forgiven. Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge our future. The second reading invites us to forgive so that we live for the Lord.
Today’s Gospel invites us to take inventory of our relationships with others, especially members of our own family. The question is not whose mistake it is in a realtionship, it is a question of whose life. We need to take the initiative to heal our broken relationships. The process is Forgiveness.
“Forgive” was the cry from the Cross. The fact is “We don’t” and not “We can’t”.
Let life be beautiful because of the world, let life be beautiful inspite of the world.