In today's gospel we here those familiar words spoken by JEsus, "seven times seventy" when asked the question "how often must I forgive someone?"
Now isn't that a question for the ages. How often must i forgive when someone offends, hurts, ridicules, betrays, hates, harms and the list goes on.
The ultimately the question is really about when is enough a enough.
The reality is this. Forgiveness doesn't entail putting oneself continually in harms ways. Sometimes we have to choose to love from afar, from a distance.
Forgiveness doesn't mean we are gluttons for punishment as they say. We have to be smart. Giving the gift of forgiveness does not mean we leave our brain at the door.
We have to learn from our experience. We must take what we learn and live smarter, better, more resourceful. At the same time we can forgive and choose not to bound by thoughts of vengeance, grudging, revenge and the like.
So forgive seventy times seven, it makes life truly blest.
However, what is most fascinating about this particular passage is the story Jesus tells about the servant who is forgiven his debt by the king but yet refuses to do the same to his servant. Rather than do to others has he received he tries to hold the burden over the head the other.
He takes the mercy he was given and chooses to uses it as a power trip. Rather than being humbled by the gift he allows his pride cause a uprising.
As you notice in the story what is really fascinating are the onlookers. The spectators who know what has happen, who know the mercy that was given. They are bothered by the unforgiving servant's actions.
Rather than stand idly bye and do nothing they interfere, they stand in the way. Rather than turning a way and choosing not to get involved they take a stand for justice.
Mercy and justice go hand in hand.
This is what we must do. We must be like the spectators who upon seeing injustice act in order to rectify. They refuse to be silent and they choose to step in and make a change rather than let the innocent suffer at the hand of a brute who is too prideful to let humility be his guide.
"Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to the master and reported the whole affair."
They were tattletales. And isn't that great.
Sometimes we got to get involved and let justice truly be served.