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)
There are some times that being a Christian can be a real pain in the neck.
Peter, in today’s Gospel, walked up to the Lord with a question. It was a rather impertinent question, if you ask me.
Remember, for the people of the Lord’s time, numbers held a lot of meaning. Three, seven, ten, twelve . . . these were all “perfect” numbers.
Jesus had probably just taught a lesson on forgiveness. Peter asked Jesus, “If my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? A perfect number of times?” After all, that, in effect, was his question. Not seven; but, perfect.
Jesus really slam-dunked His answer: “No. Not a perfect number of times but a perfect number times a perfect number plus a perfect number.”
UNCLE! Okay, Lord, I give already!
Jesus was all about forgiveness. He meant it from the bottom of His heart.
He was all about us forgiving one another as well. He meant that from the bottom of His heart.
Which is why I said that being a Christian can be a real pain because we do not like to forgive. On the contrary, we like to hold grudges, to make people pay for their transgressions against us.
We live, in most people’s estimations, in a pretty rotten world.
Imagine the kind of world it could be if people truly forgave one another a perfect number of times!
FAITH ACTION: It is not easy to forgive those who hurt us; however, forgive, we must.