How often must I forgive?

Fr Paul reads Matthew’s Gospel (18:21-19:1) in which Peter asks Jesus how often he must forgive his brother.

The parable of the ungrateful servant, we hear in the Gospel today, continues and concludes that forgiveness should be at the centre of any Christian life and community. It is acknowledged by Jesus that we simply cannot live together without upsetting someone at some time, knowingly or unknowingly, and so forgiveness is a vital step.

Matthew’s parable, which highlights this issue of forgiveness, involves a ‘goodie’ and a ‘baddie’. In this parable, we need to look at the huge difference in the amounts that are owed by the two servants.  One owes 10,000 talents, in today’s terms he owes billions of dollars, and yet his master forgives the debt. The other owes 100 denari, which in today’s terms is about $2,000, and yet, the ungrateful servant refuses to forgive the debt even though the master has forgiven his huge amount.

Fr Paul says that we live in times, unfortunately, where forgiveness is not an option.  We live in times when we are simply not allowed to forgive in any way, shape or form.

For prayer and reflection today, Fr Paul says we might wonder ‘How can I, in my life, model forgiveness like Christ did?’