Commentary on the Gospel of
NOT SEVEN TIMES BUT SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN TIMES
Sometimes it seems like Jesus is asking the impossible of his followers. It is hard enough to forgive once – but Jesus demands that we forgive seventy times seven times which actually means ALWAYS. In fact, when he taught us the Our Father, the prayer is asking for forgiveness AS WE forgive others which means that if we don’t forgive others we are asking God not to forgive us! Yes, it is not easy to forgive. When I think for example of rape or incest victims, I understand why it is so hard for them, almost impossible, to forgive their abuser. It will take a long time. And to forgive does not mean to say that there was no sin or no harm done. No the perpetrators are still guilty and it can also mean that the victim can sue them. But forgiveness means not to wish these persons ill, also not to “wallow in the luxury of our misery”. Many of us find it hard to forgive the slightest slight or hurt to our ego. These are the ones that occur in our lives seventy times seven times and we are enjoined to forgive every time. Because every time we forgive, we weaken our ego and we come closer to finding our true selves.