Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy times seven. (Matt 18:21-22)
The Gospels do not portray Peter as always getting it right. Then, as now, forgiveness can be an issue. Peter has heard Jesus and so knows the importance of forgiving. His answer? The ‘perfect’ number of 7 (numerology was a big deal at the time). Jesus blows that away with an open-hearted forgiveness unlike anything the apostles have witnessed.
A life lesson to share with the young people in our care is the importance of forgiveness to the one doing the forgiving. If we hold on to past hurts they can be like lead weights on our being and can affect us both spiritually and physically. The open-hearted forgiveness of which Jesus speaks liberates everyone and allows each of us to grow because Love has the space to do its work – turning our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.
Have a great week!