+[Dn 3,25,34-43; Mt 18,21-35] There are two aspects of today’s gospel that stand out with clarity; 1) the invitation to let our hearts be expanded so as to share in God’s very own loving compassion and mercy toward our neighbor and 2) the serious danger of easily forgetting the great mercy that has been shown to each of us.
Jesus telling Peter we are to forgive our neighbor seventy-seven times implies a call away from all forms judgment and condemnation that so easily arise in our hearts, so as to be loving and forgiving in all our daily encounters with our brothers or sisters.
We can only effectively do this if we avoid forgetting all the great kindness and loving forgiveness God has manifested in our own lives. The servant in our gospel, had hardly left receiving his master’s compassionate forgiveness when he meets a fellow servant who owed him a much smaller amount. Rather than allow the generous mercy just received guide his own heart, he clobbers his brother and begins to choke him, becoming very demanding.. What happens in own hearts, in our society today with regard to all those begging for mercy from us today?