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Lenten Weekday
Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Psalm 25:4-5AB, 6 & 7BC, 8-9
Matthew 18:21-35
In this passage Jesus teaches us about forgiveness. He tells the story
of an unforgiving servant to make his point. A servant who was for-
given of a huge debt by a king refuses to show the same grace to an-
other servant who owes him a significantly smaller amount. The king
subsequently sends the first servant to prison to be tortured until his
debt is paid in full. Jesus warns that God will treat us similarly if we do
not forgive.
I do not believe Jesus means forgiveness to be a quantifiable event
despite his use of numbers to describe it. I believe he uses
numbers to emphasize the importance and magnitude of for-
giveness in Christian living. Forgiveness is to treat others the
way God treats us. The essence of Christ is to forgive. For-
giveness is a way loving, a way of relating, a way of being. If
we are to follow Christ, we must forgive.
It is not easy to forgive the Sandy Hook killer, Osama bin
Laden and his followers, the clergy who sexually abused mi-
nors and the Church hierarchy who did not act responsibly. It
is even more difficult when it is personal, not a national trag-
edy, a foreign policy or institution in the news. All of us have
been hurt by harsh words, broken promises, betrayals, physi-
cal and emotional wounds. It is hard not to seek revenge or
withdraw from relationships. When we forgive we release