Tuesday 3rd week of Lent
Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. Mt 18:21
I wonder what prompted Peter to ask that question? There must be limit: seven times sounds most generous after all Rabbinic teaching at the time placed a limit of three times for forgiveness – nothing after that. Jesus' answer was the parable of the Unforgiving Servant.
The parable compares the immense generosity of God to our own petty attitudes. Let's be honest even forgiving three times is difficult and seven times near impossible. Now Jesus says limitless.
You see in Christ, God offers us forgiveness of a debt we could never pay – our sin, yet we hold on to petty grievances against our brothers and sisters, whether actual or perceived. So the parable ends with this warning:
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?' Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”
This Lent let's use the opportunity of 'social distancing' to do some introspection and make things right with God and our brothers.
The Season of Lent is a special time for us to slow down, look inward and make the necessary changes to truly become an Easter people.