Matthew next highlights a question by Peter about forgiveness.  During Lent, as we travel with Jesus and the disciples to the cross and examine our own hearts, forgiveness is often a rock that needs to be dealt with.

“21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18: 21-22)”

Jesus tells a parable to explain.  A master forgives his servant a huge debt when the servant pleads for mercy.  But then the servant leaves and goes out and harasses a fellow servant who owes him a small debt. The other servants report this to the master who is furious.  How can someone who is forgiven a huge amount turn around and be cruel?

We who have been forgiven so much and promised eternity often turn around and keep petty grudges with others.  These feuds in churches and in families ruin relationships and can cause huge rifts that never heal.  The ugly examples we have today are those who feel offended, let the issue boil within them, and then commit mass shootings. 

Lent is a time when we look for cobwebs in our souls.  Let us spend time reflecting today and asking the Holy Spirit to show us any areas where we need to forgive or seek forgiveness.  This is not to condone continual abuse but it is an attempt to not allow roots of bitterness to grow in our hearts.  God has forgiven us so let us try to be forgiving to others.  Blessings.

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