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 18:21-22)
Do not ever ask the Lord a question unless you are willing to pay attention to His answer!
Peter certainly was not looking for the answer that he got in today’s gospel. “Lord, how often must I forgive my brother? A perfect number of times?”
That was, basically, his question to Jesus.
Jesus’ answer was much more than he bargained for: “I say to you, Peter, not a perfect number of times but perfection times perfection times perfection!”
Numbers and symbols were very common to the Lord’s people. The number seven was a number that depicted perfection. Jesus was telling Peter that he had to forgive always.
As the Lord spoke, so He did.
Jesus forgave people often. The gospels are filled with stories about Jesus telling people their sins were forgiven, oftentimes at the consternation of those who were listening.
Some of those times, presumably, were rather easy for Jesus. However, perfection means all the time.
When it came time to prove His love, Jesus did by forgiving, even, those who put Him on the cross.
Jesus always forgave. He indicated that all things would be forgiven of us if we were truly sorry. And He asks us to do the same: to forgive all others as well.
How easy do we forgive?
FAITH ACTION: Who do you have a hard time forgiving? Ask God to give you the grace to forgive that person today.