As we forgive so too shall we be forgiven! Today’s Gospel speaks to us about forgiveness from the heart. Not a walking away from a wrong done to us, not a “simple letting it go,” but a deep decision to forgive. This is more than simply “moving on,” this is about a way of being in the world, a way of living forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a decision of the heart -- one that we must live into, one that takes time when the wound has been great.
We live in a society that often confuses justice with revenge. We seek “an eye for an eye” and we call it justice! And yet that is precisely what Jesus warned us against...he calls his disciples beyond the usual standards of conduct, beyond just loving your neighbor to loving your enemy! This is the crux of the matter! How can I forgive someone who has wronged me, someone who has hurt me, or made me look foolish. How do I forgive someone who has taken away something I valued or worse, someone I loved?
I think that in the parable we hear in the Gospel it is a case of the forgiveness received that had not been allowed to transform the heart of the one who had been forgiven. For, if he had truly accepted this gift of forgiveness and taken it into his heart, he surely would not have treated his coworker as he did. But, instead would have reacted with the kindness and forgiveness that had been shown to him.
This issue was not about whether the money was owed or not. It was about passing on the kindness, compassion and forgiveness that had been shown to the man who owed the large sum to his master who had forgiven his debt.
It is about acknowledging the richness of the kindness, compassion and forgiveness that God so lavishly showers upon us in the midst of our sin. And, our response to that lavish forgiveness is to shower it in turn upon each of our sisters and brothers regardless of the size of their sins or hurts against us!
Who most stands in need of my lavish forgiveness today? To whom do I need to seek forgiveness, from God, from sister or brother?